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Land Transport NZ’s focus for Otago

30 June 2005

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

Safety and improvements to traffic flow are the focus for Otago and Southland 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 $91 million allocated for investment in Otago/Southland’s land transport network.

This includes:

- $73 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads
- $14 million for construction of state highways and local roads
- $2 million for passenger transport services.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making Otago and Southland’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 realignment of Sharpes Bend, south of Oamaru; the roundabout construction on State Highway 6 at Lorneville; and an investigation into replacing the Homer East Portal Avalanche Shed at the Homer tunnel, to mitigate avalanche risks.

Projects which may be funded during the year include: the realignment of the section of State Highway 1 between Tumai and Waikouaiti; the design of major projects including improvements to Otago Peninsula roads, strategic corridors in the Dunedin CBD and the Three Mile Hill realignment.

Other smaller state highway projects that may commence during the year are the widening of the one-lane bridge on State Highway 6 at Albert Town, to increase capacity and improve safety; and the realignment of State Highway 8 at Tunnel Hill between Lawrence and Beaumont, 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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