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$500 million extra for transport

24 June 2005

$500 million extra for transport – Should surely be used to build Transit’s capability to deliver vital state highway projects faster….

Transit have already received funding injections to accelerate the delivery of the main suite of projects and failed.

Despite the government’s provision in December 2003 of an additional $1.62 billion for Auckland to achieve faster progress with vital transport network improvements, a 5c increase in petrol tax, and provision for Transit to undertake borrowing to cover any funding short full, Transit’s draft 2005-2014 plan failed to bring forward the start dates for the critical missing links in Auckland’s state highway network and failed to exploit the borrowing.

Instead, Transit’s start dates in the 2005 draft plan for the major missing links were the same as in the 2003 plan. (See table)

The critical projects which Aucklanders want faster progress to complete are: The Western Ring Route, comprising four SH20 projects, including widening the capacity of Mangere Bridge and the Avondale link to the SH16 Northwestern Motorway and SH 18 Upper Harbour Corridor.

Accelerated programmes to start and complete the two missing SH1 Central Motorway projects in Auckland City – the Newmarket Viaduct and Harbour Bridge to City (Victoria Viaduct).

The table clearly shows that Transit’s start dates for major Auckland projects have slipped badly on 2000 estimates. They also reveal that the government’s injection of additional money in 2003 and options to raise further funds through borrowing have failed to influence Transit’s ability to deliver these projects with greater efficiency.

“Perhaps some improved management skills is a top priority to help Transit get better focus on ensuring the key projects are ready for construction immediately.”

Transit’s finalised 2005/06 programme is due to be announced next week. A clear commitment to fast-track completion of the SH20 Western Ring Route by 2010 is the main point the Business Forum want confirmed.

“We want accelerated start dates and assurances there will be no more slippage of timelines,” said Project Co-ordinator Tony Garnier.

For more information contact, Business Forum project co-ordinator Tony Garnier, Ph: (09) 368 7772 or 0274 990 155. TABLE: Transit’s Auckland SH major project start dates published since 2000 and Auckland Business Forum start-finish alternative:
2000 * 2003** 2004*** 2005# ABF+
SH20/1 Manukau Extn 2000-04 2006/07 2005 “Early” 2006 2005-08
SH20 Mangere Bridge 2005-09 2009/10 2010 2009/10 2006-10
SH20 Mt Roskill 2000-04 2003/04 2004 “August” 2005 2005-08
SH20 Avondale 2005-09 2010/11 2011 2010/11 2006-10
SH18 Hobsonville 2000-04 2005/06 2005 2005/06 2005-08

SH1 HBTC Victoria Pk Viaduct 2000-04 2009/10 2010 2009/10 2006-10
SH1 Newmarket Viaduct 2000-04 2007/08 2008 2007/08 2006-09
* Source: Auckland State Highway Strategy, December 2000. Dates are indicative construction start-finish timing. The document was launched at the ARC with huge fanfare, and wide expectations that Transit’s Auckland office would be beefed up and funded to deliver the strategy in a timely way.

**Source: Transit’s SH Plan 2003/04 – 2012/13, 30 June 2003. Dates are construction start times only.

***Source: Transit “Getting Auckland Going” Supplement, insert in NZ Herald, August 2004.

#Source: Transit’s Draft 2005/06 – 2014/15 SH Plan, February 2005. Transport Minister Pete Hodgson is expected to unveil the finalised plan in Auckland this Thursday.

ENDS

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