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Land Transport NZ’s focus for Wellington

30 June 2005

Route efficiency and passenger transport Land Transport NZ’s focus for Wellington

Efficiency on major routes and increasing passenger transport patronage are the focus for Wellington 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 $123 million allocated for investment in Wellington’s land transport network.

This includes:

$42 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads

$46 million for construction of state highways and local roads

$31 million for improvements to passenger transport infrastructure and services to increase patronage on buses and rail.

In addition to the funding highlighted above, Land Transport NZ expects to allocate approximately $10 million of Crown funding in 2005/06 for strategic projects, including the upgrade of Wellington’s trolley bus fleet. This funding is drawn from the $225 million Crown contribution to Wellington transport announced by the government in January 2005.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making Wellington’s major routes more efficient and reliable 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 Plimmerton to Mana upgrade on State Highway 1 and the Kaitoke to Te Marua realignment on State Highway 2 – both to be completed in late 2005. The inner city bypass through Wellington city and the construction of an overbridge at MacKays Crossing will continue through the coming year.

Rail projects include a programme of upgrades to the region’s railway stations and the installation of security systems in rail carriages. Ongoing funding will be used to refurbish the English electric rail units used on the Johnsonville and Melling lines, and replacement of the Wairarapa rail carriages.

Projects which may be funded during the year include: the design of Stage 1 of the Kapiti western link road to improve access and reduce congestion; the replacement of Waiohine Bridge between Carterton and Greytown, to improve safety and environmental sustainability; and the continuation of the Safer Roads project in Wellington city, aimed at improving safety for all road users and reducing road crashes by 33 percent. The design of the remaining lengths of the Centennial Highway median barrier is also planned.

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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