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Land Transport NZ’s focus for Bay of Plenty

30 June 2005

Reducing congestion Land Transport NZ’s focus for Bay of Plenty

Reducing congestion resulting from growth in heavy vehicle and tourist traffic is the focus for the Bay of Plenty 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 $83 million allocated for investment in Bay of Plenty’s land transport network.

This includes:

$50 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads

$30 million for construction of state highways and local roads

$2.4 million for passenger transport maintenance and service improvements.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making Bay of Plenty’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 Hewlett’s Road flyover on State Highway 29 and the design and investigation of the proposed Tauranga Harbour Link toll road. Also committed in this year’s NLTP is funding for emergency works arising from flooding events in the last two years.

Projects which may be funded during the year include the design of the Tauranga eastern arterial route - a new 16 kilometre expressway that bypasses Te Puke to provide better access to new growth areas, relieve congestion and improve safety. Also planned this year is the installation of traffic lights at the Hairini/Welcome Bay intersection on State Highway 29 to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and reduce congestion.

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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