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Transit consults on Hawke’s Bay draft SH Plan

31 January 2005

Transit consults on Hawke’s Bay draft SH Plan

Transit New Zealand today released its Hawke’s Bay region draft 2005/06 – 2014/15 10-year State Highway Plan for consultation. Transit is inviting submissions on the draft plan from all interested parties and the general public.

Submissions will close on 16 March and the final plan will be issued at the same time as the Land Transport New Zealand funding allocations for 2005/06 are announced at the end of June. Transit spokesperson Graham Taylor said Transit had assigned priorities to projects and activities in line with the requirements of the Land Transport Management Act 2003 to ensure a safe, integrated, responsive and sustainable state highway network.

“We have tried to ensure that where possible state highway activities are integrated with local roads, public transport and existing or planned cycling and walking facilities.” The programme has been built around national indicative funding forecasts from Land Transport New Zealand and an estimated share of 65 percent of “regional distribution funding” for Hawke’s Bay (the extra funding for land transport from the proposed increase in petrol tax) being allocated to state highways.

Mr Taylor said the Meeanee Road Interchange project remained Transit’s top priority for the region. Although the draft plan gives the project an indicative construction start date of 2005/06, he hoped work could get underway sooner. “Property purchase has been finalised and Transit has applied to Land Transport New Zealand for funding.

The Land Transport NZ Board has deferred a decision pending more information, and we’re working with them to move things forward.” He said the Waikaremoana Seal Extension on SH38 has an indicative construction start date of 2008/09 in the draft, five years earlier than in the final 2004/05 10-year plan.

In the meantime, some of the narrowest sections of the route, which have been affected by the attrition of roadside batters, will be improved. “Other major projects that could be constructed within the next 10 years included the College Road to Silverstream Realignment and Passing Lanes, the Takapau Plains Seal Widening and the Matahorua Gorge Realignment.

“This is on top of the many small and medium-sized activities Transit has planned in the region over the next three years. Up to 18 passing lanes could be constructed, depending on funding levels. The SH5 Dillions Hill Realignment, the replacement of the Mangahohi Bridge on SH38, and realigning and replacing the Tahaenui Bridge on SH2 east of Wairoa are also planned for that period. Major state highway projects are programmed over 10 years while smaller activities under $3 million are set out over three years.

Mr Taylor said it was important to remember that the plan as it stands is a draft, and its final format would be shaped by the submissions Transit received. “We look forward to getting feedback on what interested parties and members of the community think of the plan.”

Background information

This is the first year under the Land Transport Management Act 2003 in which Transit must consult more widely than in the past on its state highway plan. Transit has always consulted with local authorities, other government transport agencies and key organisations such as Police, Automobile Association, the Road Transport Forum, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and DoC, but this year it is aiming to attract feedback from land transport providers, affected communities, Maori and the general public. Under the Act Transit must also now consult with ACC and the Ministry of Health,

Written submissions will be accepted up to 16 March 2005 and submitters, if they wish, have the opportunity to present their information to a hearing panel during March and April. Submission forms are in each information sheet and are available at the sites below.

Copies of the full plan covering the whole of New Zealand will be available to view at libraries and local council offices, and information sheets with a submission form, on the Hawke’s Bay region plan is also available at the same outlets to take away. The regional material and the national plan is also available on Transit’s website: www.transit.govt.nz

ENDS

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