Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Partnership cements future of Route K


18 August 2014 | NZ Transport Agency - Waikato & Bay of Plenty

Partnership cements future of Route K

A partnership between the NZ Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council (TCC) will see the Route K debt removed from the city’s books when the road transfers to the Transport Agency.

The Transport Agency and TCC have reached an agreement where Route K and its tolling operations will be transferred to the Agency in mid-2015, with all but $1million of the $63million debt associated with the express bypass removed from TCC’s books.

The Transport Agency’s Waikato Bay of Plenty Regional Director, Harry Wilson, said the decision meant Tauranga ratepayers would not be burdened with the Route K debt and the Agency would be able to commit to electronically tolling both Route K and the Tauranga Eastern Link together.

“Route K is a strategic link and bringing it into the state highway network
will ensure that it is used in a way that will provide the greatest benefit to the entire region.”

As part of the agreement, the Transport Agency will compensate council with a one-off payment that will remove all but $1million of the Route K debt at the date of transfer.

Mr Wilson said the payment would be made from existing Transport Agency funds, and would be recovered from future tolling revenue.

“This arrangement means the Transport Agency avoids taking on debt and there will no impact on any other Bay of Plenty roading projects.”

The payment recognises the council’s loss of future tolling revenue due to the change of ownership. The remaining $1million recognises the reduction in council’s financial costs due to the payment.

Mr Wilson said the two parties had formed a partnership to change the status of Route K to a state highway many years ago.

“The initial plan was for the Route K debt to stay with TCC and be repaid through tolling after the Transport Agency took over the road, however recent legal advice has made it clear that was not possible,” he said.

“So we went back to the drawing board and worked together to find a solution that would work for both Tauranga ratepayers and road users,” he said.

“Timing was crucial; the decision had to be made before September so the Agency could commit to timelines for the opening of the TEL in 2015.

“This agreement means the Transport Agency is now able to commit to electronically tolling Route K and the TEL together, which provides a savings of $750,000 for road users.”

Mayor Stuart Crosby said the transfer of Route K assets to the NZ Transport Agency was a win-win situation for all involved.

“The NZ Transport Agency gets to fill a gap in its strategic roading network and has the ability to collect tolls, while Tauranga City Council is eased of the burden of ownership,” he said.

“This is a great day for the ratepayers of Tauranga, the motoring public and sub-regional economic development.”

Mayor Crosby said the decision to construct and open Route K in 2003 required foresight and courage but was the right decision for the city.

“This was about the long term benefits for a growing city. Route K opened up an alternative route across the city and particularly to the Port of Tauranga. Council's long-term plan was always for ownership of Route K to switch to the NZ Transport Agency, it was just a matter of when and how.

Today’s decision, which is subject to statutory approvals, is the culmination of a series of conversations between the Transport Agency and TCC.

Mayor Crosby said the Western Bay of Plenty’s collaborative approach to strategic roading had provided tangible benefits to local communities and this would continue into the future.

ENDS

Editor’s note:

How will TCC get the funding?
TCC will apply to the Regional Transport Committee to include the arrangement in the Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP).
Funding will be provided by the National Land Transport Programme’s New and Improved Infrastructure for Local Roads Activity Class. The Programme is the government investment in transport, with funds coming from fuel excise duty and road user charges.

How is the Transport Agency funding the arrangement?
The Transport Agency will make the payment through its cash-flow management and does not require a debt facility. The Transport Agency will retain the tolling revenue from the road to cover all its costs. The tolls will be paid back into the National Land Transport Programmes’ Fund.
What is unique about Route K?
Route K is a part of the nationally important transport journey that includes State Highway 29 as an inter-regional link between the Bay of Plenty and the rest of the upper North Island for the movement of people and freight.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news