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Highway allocation for Auckland barely enough

Media statement Monday, June 30th, 2003

Highway allocation for Auckland barely enough

Transit's $2.6 billion allocation for Auckland over 10 years won't make up for the years during which Auckland's vehicle users subsidised road building in the rest of the country, Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

>From 1995 to 2001 Auckland contributed 30% of Transit's funding but received 18-23% of Transit's spending on roads, he said.

"Nevertheless the $2.6 billion for Auckland from the total fund of $7.3 billion is a useful peg in the ground," Mr Thompson said.

"It's a start on a 10 year programme, certainly not the total investment required in Auckland's roading infrastructure in the next decade. It won't be enough to complete Auckland's highway network within the time frame.

"To complete the network in 10 years, the critical $880 million Avondale to SH1 link has to be finished by 2013; under the announced programme work on the link won't start until 2010/2011.

"The programme does not reflect the highly attractive return on investment to the nation as a whole from building better roads in Auckland.

"Furthermore, the economic return from road building in Auckland is higher than in other regions, and Aucklanders have contributed more than their fair share for roads elsewhere.

"We urge Government to signal that further state funds could become available for roading, not just for Auckland but for the whole country.

"Nationally, we have been under investing in roads for many years, and though roading throughout the country needs more investment, Auckland's roads in particular need additional, catch up investment."

ENDS

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