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Transfund unveils $1.19 bn Land Transport Prog.


Transfund unveils $1.19 billion Land Transport Programme

Media Release
30 June 2003


Transfund unveils $1.19 billion National Land Transport Programme Transfund New Zealand announced today it is allocating $1.19 billion for land transport infrastructure and services in this year's National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). This is an increase of $90 million (8%) over last year.

The 2003/04 NLTP includes allocations for roading maintenance works ($587.80 million), road construction projects ($388.88 million), passenger transport ($101.08 million), alternatives to roading ($28 million), regional development ($23.16 million), promotion of walking and cycling ($3.80 million), and administration and project control ($57.28 million).

Transfund chairperson David Stubbs says the overriding feature of the 2003/04 NLTP is its balance between transport modes, government objectives and short and medium term needs.

There is a balance between:

* expenditure on roading, passenger transport and non-roading transport modes

* maintaining existing transport infrastructure while addressing the relative priorities of severe congestion relief and safety

* supporting transport growth in major urban areas and economic development in key regions

* short and medium term needs, with this year's NLTP prepared in the context of Transfund's inaugural 10 year financial forecast.

Mr Stubbs said the 2003/04 NTLP continues the new direction signalled by last year's NLTP. With the release of the New Zealand Transport Strategy in December 2002 and the Land Transport Management Bill currently before the Transport and Industrial Relations select committee, it has been developed under a new environment to its predecessors.

Transfund has begun a review of its funding allocation framework to take into account the New Zealand Transport Strategy. This review will be completed once the Land Transport Management Bill is finalised.

"Transfund will continue to work closely with road controlling authorities, regional councils and transport sector organisations to develop the highest possible contribution to strategic goals and to levels of service from the funds available," Mr Stubbs says.

Notable features of this year's NLTP include:

Road maintenance funding accounts for half of Transfund's annual budget to maintain the network in a safe, reliable state.

Construction funding has increased by $40 million from 2002/03, with State highway construction increasing by $34 million and local road construction increasing by $6 million.

A substantial amount of construction funding has already been committed to ongoing projects such as

* the Central Motorway Junction, Grafton Gully, the Greenhithe deviation and duplication of Upper Harbour Bridge in Auckland,

* the Mercer to Longswamp section of the Waikato Expressway,

* upgrade of SH1 between Plimmerton and Mana in Wellington

* the four-laning of Fendalton Road in Christchurch.

Transfund has also earmarked construction funding for new State highway projects. These are focussed on reducing congestion, such as the Mt Roskill motorway extension in Auckland and the inner city bypass in Wellington, and improving safety, such as the Normanby realignment of SH1 near Timaru and construction of the safety upgrade to the Longswamp to Rangiriri section of SH1 between Mercer and Huntly.

For local road construction, Transfund has allocated funding for a range of projects that address the government priorities of reducing congestion and improving safety, as well as improving route quality and efficiency.

Passenger transport funding has almost doubled in Auckland, with detailed design continuing for the North Shore busway. Other regions with significant increases in passenger transport from 2002/03 include Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Southland.

There is continued support for the initiatives announced by the government in the Moving Forward package released in February 2002.

Regional development funding continues to be available to those regions notified to Transfund by the Minister of Transport, namely Northland and Tairawhiti (comprising Gisborne and Wairoa). Priorities for the allocation of regional development funding have been determined in partnership with regional development committees comprising representatives of road controlling authorities, industry and other stakeholders.

Funding for alternatives to roading will be focussed in three main areas: freight (rail and barging), travel demand management and potential passenger transport projects such as integrated ticketing.

Funding for promotion of walking and cycling projects will be allocated to the development of walking and cycling strategies and walking and cycling projects throughout New Zealand.

ENDS

The NLTP book, which sets out all projects under all output groups for use by local government road asset managers, is available as a pdf file on

http://www.transfund.govt.nz/nat.html

Other points to note include:

i. The NLTP is the National Roading Programme as approved by the Transfund Board pursuant to the Transit New Zealand Act 1989.

i. The NLTP is the national budget for the construction and maintenance of New Zealand's road network, the provision of publicly funded passenger transport services, alternatives to roading, regional development and the promotion of walking and cycling. Transfund, a Crown entity, is responsible for investing road user funds to achieve an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system for New Zealand. The NLTP provides for Transfund's and Transit's administrative costs and contributes to local authorities' administration costs related to roading and public transport. It also funds research and industry training.

i. In producing this year's NLTP, Transfund used its funding allocation framework. Under this framework, Transfund considers government priorities, the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) and other factors, such as the priority placed on the project by the region when prioritising projects. In the NLTP for both State highways construction and local roads construction outputs, projects are either shown on 'indicative' priority or 'reserve' lists, which can be updated to take into account changes and developments that may arise during the year. Where projects on the indicative priority list cannot begin in the 2003/04 year, Transfund will consider whether or not to fund a reserve list project.

i. While some allocations to road controlling authorities are decided and announced annually prior to the commencement of each financial year on July 1, Transfund manages the NLTP as an ongoing, dynamic programme. Approvals are made on a rolling basis throughout the year as funding applications are considered at monthly programme reviews. For this reason the actual amount funded over a year is likely to be above the minimum funding detailed above.

i. All project costs are total costs (excluding GST) so include Transfund's allocation and, where applicable, funding by the relevant local authority.


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