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Land Transport NZ’s focus for West Coast

30 June 2005

Safety and maintenance Land Transport NZ’s focus for West Coast

Safety and the maintenance of critical strategic corridors to and from the region are the focus for the West Coast in the 2005/06 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

Land Transport NZ today announced $1.7 billion in transport spending for New Zealand in 2005/06, including nearly $23 million allocated for investment in the West Coast’s land transport network.

This includes $19 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads, and $4 million for construction of state highways and local roads.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making West Coast’s major routes safer and more efficient.

Funding has been committed for the realignment of Millerton Track in the Buller district to improve safety to the Millerton and Stockton coal mines, by reducing landslide risks on the existing route.

Other projects that may be approved throughout the year include: the design of the Rough River Bridge replacement in the Buller district; investigation of alternatives for transporting freight to Port of Greymouth; and the realignment of Littleman Straight south curve on State Highway 6 to align to 100 kilometre speed environment and improve safety.

This year’s NLTP is the first to include regionally distributed funding raised from the 5c per litre increase in petrol excise and the associated increase in Road User Charges for light vehicles introduced on April 1 this year. The distribution of regional funding has been determined on the basis of population.

Dr Wright stressed that regionally distributed funding will be allocated over a 10 year period, with all regions receiving their full allocation over the 10 years.

“While this extra funding will be allocated and approved through the usual NLTP processes, Land Transport NZ is seeking increased regional involvement in setting priorities for this funding. Allocation of this funding has begun slowly because some regions need time to set their priorities, and the more expensive construction phase of projects will occur later in the 10 year period.”

This year’s NLTP is the first to be prepared by Land Transport NZ, created by the merger of Transfund New Zealand and the Land Transport Safety Authority in December 2004. Dr Wright says the activities funded through the NLTP reflect Land Transport NZ’s objective of contributing to an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system.

“New Zealand faces huge transport challenges. The $1.7 billion allocated by this year’s NLTP, together with the extra transport funding of $100 million per year for three years from 2006/07 announced in this year’s Budget and the further $500 million announced last week, will help us meet those challenges.”

Dr Wright said an announcement would be made in August detailing how the extra $500 million in transport funding will be allocated.

Regional newsletters, a fact sheet and the NLTP book, which details all projects in the 2005/06 NLTP, will be available at www.landtransport.govt.nz from 6pm today.

ENDS

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