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State highway projects over $20 million remain

Media Release
For immediate release 23 December 2003

State highway projects over $20 million remain in the 2003/04 funding programme

A Transfund New Zealand review of transport projects over $20 million has confirmed all six projects remain in the 2003/04 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

However, some will require conditions to be meet before they can be considered for funding.

The six projects, being promoted by Transit New Zealand, are:

* Mangatawhiri Deviation, Waikato

* Hewletts Road Flyover, Tauranga

* Inner City Bypass, Wellington

* State Highway 20 Mt Roskill Extension, Auckland

* North Shore Busway, Auckland

* Esmonde Road Interchange, Auckland.

Transfund chairperson David Stubbs says the review has confirmed all six projects will remain in the 2003/04 NLTP.

This review was a requirement of Transfund's performance agreement with the Minister of Transport. Transfund assessed whether the projects contributed to the new strategic objectives in the Land Transport Management Act: assisting economic development, assisting safety and security, assisting access and mobility, protecting and promoting public health and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Mr Stubbs says the Transfund Board agreed all six projects contributed to one or more the strategic objects of the Act.

The Transfund decision allows Transit New Zealand to submit an application for funding for each project.

However, due to new requirements of the Act, Transfund's review has identified some matters to be considered before funds can be approved by Transfund.

The Act requires the early and full consideration of options and alternatives for each project. There must be integration of roading projects with public transport services, adjacent roading networks and walking and cycling amenities, and a focus on ensuring that benefits are maintained into the long term when developing these projects. To meet these requirements, Transit and the relevant local authorities need to consider how to address the following issues:

* Mangatawhiri Deviation - traffic flows on the new road should not be compromised by unrestricted access to land adjacent to the new road.

* Hewletts Road Flyover - the project should not compromise future intersection requirements given traffic demands on this important route to the Port of Tauranga.

* Inner City Bypass - the project should be integrated with the local road network adjacent to the project, the promotion of public transport and walking facilities. The benefits provided by the project should also be sustained over time. Transit has also been advised it would need to confirm that, under the Act, the proposal is preferable to an option based on development of the existing roading system.

* State Highway 20 Mt Roskill Extension - the project should be managed so the new road does not become congested with completed. Consequently, Transit has been requested to apply for the ability to toll the new road. Network integration and connectability issues need to be addressed.

* North Shore Busway - this project should be accompanied by timely development of bus stations and feeder bus services by those authorities responsible, ie, North Shore City Council and Auckland Regional Council.

* Esmonde Road Interchange - no conditions, in recognition of its close linkage to the North Shore Busway. ends

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