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Land Transport NZ’s focus for Canterbury

30 June 2005

Safety and improved traffic flow Land Transport NZ’s focus for Canterbury

Safety and improvements to traffic flow are the focus for the Canterbury 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 $93 million allocated for investment in Canterbury’s land transport network.

This includes:

$58 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads

$22 million for construction of state highways and local roads

$12 million for passenger transport services.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making Canterbury’s major routes safer and more efficient, 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 four-laning of State Highway 74 Main North Road between Redwood and Belfast, and the upgrading of the Styx overbridge; the repair of access routes to the Clandeboye dairy factory in the Timaru district; and the replacement of Pocock’s bridge in the Selwyn district.

Projects which may be funded during the year include: improvements to the southern access to Timaru port; improvements to the Avonside Drive/Fitzgerald Avenue/Kilmore Street intersection and the Ferry Road/Humphries Drive intersection in Christchurch; and the design of proposed duplication and extension of the Christchurch southern motorway to improve safety and reduce congestion.

Other smaller state highway projects that may be approved during the year include: the replacement of the roundabout at the QEII Drive/Marshland Road intersection in the Christchurch CBD to reduce travel delays; and improvements at the Yaldhurst Road/Curletts Road intersection to reduce delays and improve cycle facilities.

Canterbury’s passenger transport services will receive $12 million for the 2005/06 year, an 18 percent increase from 2004/05, most of which relates to the increased cost of services. The remaining funds will be used for wheelchair hoist facilities, the region’s total mobility scheme, and further improvements to bus facilities and services in Christchurch, including a marketing programme to inform bus users of enhancements to the real-time passenger information.

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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