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$885 million to get Wellington moving

5 July 2005

$885 million over ten years to get Wellington moving

Unprecedented new funding for Wellington's transport network will see long-delayed road and public transport projects soon underway.

"In the last six months the region has secured $885 million of new government money to fix road and public transport problems that have languished for decades," said Ian Buchanan, Chairperson of Greater Wellington Regional Council. When combined with regionally allocated petrol tax plus this region's normal expectation of national road funding, we can look forward to unprecedented levels of spending over the next decade."

Key projects that are likely to go ahead as a result of the funding include:

* Kapiti and Porirua bus rail interchanges
* MacKays to Raumati double tracking
* Additional rail units to provide a 15 minute rail service to the Kapiti Coast
* Intersection Improvements / flyovers at places like Paekakariki
* The western link road in Kapiti
* The Petone-Grenada link road
* Coastal expressway MacKay's Crossing - Pukerua Bay * Coastal expressway - Pukerua Bay bypass

Ian Buchanan said that $255 million of today's funding will go toward improving public transport and building the Petone-Grenada and Kapiti western link roads, while $405 million has been allocated for state highway construction on the western corridor between Pukerua Bay and Kapiti.

"$405 million will not build Transmission Gully, but $405 million is sufficient to upgrade SH1 from 2 to 4 lanes from Wellington to Kapiti, with the exception of Mana esplanade. The work done on the Western Corridor Study and the Wellington Regional Strategy tells us that even on highest growth estimate, a four-lane highway is all that is needed to provide a safe, reliable road until at least 2025. If growth beyond 2025 warrants the building of Transmission Gully, then that is an option. But for the foreseeable future four lanes on the coastal highway is the only economically viable option." Ian Buchanan said that the job now facing the region was to get on with the job of building the road and public transport improvements.

"The government has delivered us a funding package that exceeds anything in the last twenty years. The absolutely clear message from the Western Corridor Study is that the people want the road problems sorted out, and that their priority is a safe, reliable road from Wellington to Kapiti. This funding package gives us the chance to meet our constituent's demands within the next ten years."

"Today's announcement also signals that the time for political rhetoric and unrealistic promises is over. No matter which way it is considered, those that wish to continue to pursue Transmission Gully must put $1 billion of unencumbered money on the table. It is no good talking about loan funding or public private partnerships - there is no free money out there. One way or the other the public - be it government, road users or ratepayers - would have to pay an additional $500 million above and beyond what has been promised today to build Transmission Gully."

ENDS

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