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Land Transport NZ’s focus for Nelson

30 June 2005

Safety and efficiency Land Transport NZ’s focus for Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman

Safe and efficient roads to withstand traffic growth are the focus for Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman 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 $33 million allocated for investment in Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman’s land transport network. This includes $24 million for maintenance of state highways and local roads and $8 million for construction of state highways and local roads.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says the agency and its partners are committed to making Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman’s major routes safer and more efficient.

Funding has been committed for the continuation of log freighting by sea from Opua Bay to Shakespeare Bay in the Marlborough Sounds as an alternative to cartage by truck on the Port Underwood Road and through Picton township.

Projects which may be funded during the year include the replacement of the Normanby Bridge in Nelson and the Awatere bridge in Marlborough district, a three-year programme of rural road seal extensions in Lud Valley in Nelson and the reconstruction of Paton Road and three seal extension projects in the Tasman district to improve safety and travel efficiency.

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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