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Transport investment boosted in city budget

Transport investment further boosted in city budget

New Zealand's fourth largest city has shown it remains serious about delivering a better transport system for its 210,000 residents by allocating almost half of its capital works budget to public transport and road programmes in the next financial year.

North Shore City Council is planning to invest a further $51m in transport infrastructure in 2005-2006, out of a total $103m on new capital projects, under its draft Annual Plan, currently out for public consultation.

People have until April 22 to give feedback on the draft plan, which sets out the council's priorities for year two of the 2004-2014 City Plan, which features a billion-dollar capital works programme over the next decade.

"Transport capital spending includes a $27m boost to public transport in the city, with projects such as Northern Busway stations, ferry wharf improvements, transit lanes and new bus shelters," North Shore City's infrastructure and environment committee chairperson, Tony Barker, says.

"We are also planning to spend $15m on upgrades for some of our major roads, including Lake Rd, Anzac St, Glenfield Rd and Esmonde Rd.

"Pedestrians and cyclists will also benefit, with plans for new cycleways, footpaths and pedestrian crossings"

An average rate increase of 6.99 per cent is proposed for next year to pay for new assets and maintain existing services in what is one of the fastest-growing parts of New Zealand.

Councillor Barker says 16 cents in every rate dollar will go to delivering better transport in the year ahead.

More than 80,000 copies of the annual plan summary newsletter have already been distributed to households and post office boxes across North Shore City. Additional copies of the newsletter and copies of the draft plan are available from libraries and council offices, and on the council's website, http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz

People can give their feedback by filling in the reply paid submission form on the back of the summary newsletter, or they can enter a submission online.

The form can also be used to nominate a time to present in person to the council's hearings committee, chaired by councillor Heather Brown, which will meet during May.

Any changes will be reflected in the final, approved plan for the year 2005-2006, which will be adopted on June 29. (ends)

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