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Funding Certainty Clears Way For Transit NZ

Funding Certainty Clears Way For Transit New Zealand To Shift Gears And Move Into Fast Lane

Transit New Zealand is being urged to set up a rapid response team to take full advantage of the Government’s Auckland transport funding package unveiled today.

Among major strategic roading projects listed in the regional transport strategy as ready to be constructed as funds become available are:

Manukau Extension of SH 20 to SH1, Waiouru Peninsula to SH1,

Alpurt SH 1 extension north of Orewa (as a toll route),

Working with Auckland City to accelerate projects at Newmarket Viaduct, Harbour Bridge to City, Grafton Gully link to SH 16 and the Western bypass Mt Roskill extension of SH20.

This is a far from complete list of projects needed for network completion, but is a cluster listed in the regional strategy that should be constructed “as funds become available over the 2003/04 year.”

With funding certainty indicated today and a willing construction industry, the key now is for Transit New Zealand to urgently have a look at its 10-year construction programme unveiled earlier this year, gear up and accelerate its programme.

It is a worry that Government today is reporting that Transfund has a surplus of $260 million this year – citing this reason for delaying the introduction of the new funding measures until 2005.

The reason for the surplus appears to be that Transit are not bringing forward funding applications fast enough.

“Today’s announcement of a platform of certainty for transport in Auckland is exactly the kind of encouragement Transit New Zealand needs to respond to by putting in place a rapid response team to get moving even faster on fixing Auckland gridlock,” said Mr Barnett.

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