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Land Transport NZ’s focus for Auckland

30 June 2005

Increased capacity Land Transport NZ’s focus for Auckland

Increasing the capacity of the transport system is the focus for Auckland 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 $450 million allocated for investment in Auckland’s land transport network.

This includes:

$119 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads

$211 million for construction of state highways and local roads

$112 million for improvements to passenger transport infrastructure and services to increase patronage on buses, rail and ferries

$3 million for programmes and facilities that encourage travel behaviour change and promote walking and cycling.

In addition to the funding highlighted above, Land Transport NZ expects to allocate Crown funding of $50 million in 2005/06 for strategic projects such as bus and rail infrastructure, including the western line ‘double-tracking’ and the refurbishment of Auckland’s train carriages.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making Auckland’s major routes more efficient, managing the capacity on Auckland’s road networks and making passenger transport more attractive as an alternative to using the car.

Funding has been committed for the continuation of major projects, including: the construction of the SH1 ALPURT B2 northern motorway extension toll road from Orewa to Puhoi; construction of the northern busway which runs from the Auckland Harbour Bridge to Albany; construction of the next two stages of the Western Ring Road (Mt Roskill extension and the Manukau motorway link which will connect SH 1 and SH 20).

Other projects which may be funded during the year, over and above those covered by the $450 million allocation, include: construction of the Northcote to Sunnynook auxiliary lane; construction of the Liverpool/Nesdale link (west of Manukau City) to link various local roads with SH 20; and land purchase and improvements at Greenlane Road and Great South Road, to provide peak-hour bus lanes, improved cycle and pedestrian facilities, more efficient intersections and upgraded traffic signals to reduce congestion.

Other smaller state highway projects that may begin during the year include the provision of a bus priority lane northbound between Stafford and Esmonde Road on SH1 to improve bus travel times and reliability and upgrading lighting on the southern and northern motorways to 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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