Record transport investment in the West Coast to save lives and support tourism

Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced a record $177 million will be invested in transport for the West Coast over the next three years to deliver a safer and better connected transport system to save lives and to ensure tourism continues to flourish.

The planned investments are detailed in the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), published today by the NZ Transport Agency. The planned $177 million investment in the West Coast is part of the Government’s record $16.9 billion investment in transport across New Zealand and is an increase of 9% for the region from the previous 2015/18 NLTP, and a 29% increase from 2012/15.

“This record investment in our transport system will help grow our regions, make it easier to get around our cities, and save lives on our roads. It will deliver the best results for our transport dollar,” said Phil Twyford.

Safety is a top priority for the Government. We’re investing $46 million in programmes and projects that will help save lives.

“Highways in the region are too frequently closed by slips, rockfalls and flooding, and this investment will build resilience to make closures less frequent. A range of projects to improve safety and access are planned at vulnerable locations along SH6, SH7, and SH73.

“Tourism is now the fastest growing economy on the coast and safe, reliable access is necessary to ensure that it continues to flourish in a region where weather and geography can have a big impact,” Phil Twyford said.

“Freight connections from the north along SH7 will be strengthened with the replacement of the single-lane wooden Ahaura Bridge.

Phil Twyford said the Transport Agency will also continue to work closely with local government and the Franz Josef community to reduce the risk of flooding from the Waiho River.

“State highways continue to receive the largest share of funding. We will invest a record $111 million in highway maintenance, renewals and improvement projects in the region to improve safety and save lives.  Much of the work will centre on improving roads and roadsides at high-risk locations.

“Support will also continue for regional walking and cycling trails where there are opportunities to grow tourism and support the visitor economy.  Investment includes the Croesus Trail, part of the 55 kilometre-long track through the Paparoa mountain range linking the communities of Blackball and Punakaiki,” said Phil Twyford.

Full details of the investments being made through the National Land Transport Programme, including detailed regional breakdowns, can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz