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New roading programme great news for Taranaki

New roading programme great news for Taranaki

The region can celebrate inclusion of the Normanby overpass and improvements to SH3 north in a major new roading programme announced today, says the Taranaki Regional Council.

“This is the best roading news to come out of Wellington for quite a number of years,” says the Council Chairman, David MacLeod. “The Council and the Regional Transport Committee have long advocated the need for action on both projects.”

The overpass project and improvements to SH3 at Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge are part of a $212 million ‘Accelerated Regional Roading Package’ to be funded by the proceeds of asset sales.

The projects are in addition to the proposed regional highway funding programme that was included in a draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) announced earlier this month

Mr MacLeod says the Council and the Regional Transport Committee sent a clear message to the Government in 2012 that Normanby ranked equally with the Vickers to City project as a top priority for Taranaki.

“They’re both needed and both stack up well on cost-benefit ratios. We suggested there was a case for making national funds available, because regional funding has not been able to cover both.

“We’re pleased that this message has been taken on board, so top marks to Wellington for today’s announcement. We also acknowledge the efforts of local MPs in advocating the region’s important highway projects .”

The Normanby project and improvements to SH3 north were also highlighted by the Taranaki Mayoral Forum this month as one of this region’s key matters for any incoming Government to address after the General Elections in September.

The Chair of the Regional Transport Committee, Taranaki Regional Councillor Roger Maxwell, says discussion over the Normanby and Vickers to City project had been wrongly portrayed by some as a ‘north versus south’ debate.

“It has never been anything of the sort,” says Cr Maxwell. “Taranaki’s representatives have been standing together on this. And the Government now sees merit in our argument.”

He says inclusion of improvements at Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge is also pleasing, as it shows the Government has accepted the Committee’s strong case that SH3 north is a strategically important route for a region that is one of New Zealand’s economic powerhouses.


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