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$1.7 billion National Transport Programme

30 June 2005

Land Transport NZ announces $1.7 billion National Land Transport Programme

Land Transport New Zealand has announced a record $1.7 billion in spending for land transport infrastructure and services in this year’s National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), a 20 percent ($280 million) increase from last year.

Land Transport NZ chair Dr Jan Wright says 2005/06 marks the first time in many years that an NLTP is being released with virtually all available funds marked for spending.

“The message of previous years that the sector needed to gear up to make the most of extra transport funds has been heeded. Demand for land transport funding is higher than ever before, and a record amount of money is being allocated for an ambitious range of projects that will improve our roads and passenger transport services.”

Dr Wright also noted that there have been significant increases in the cost of road construction and maintenance, as well as for passenger transport services. More funding has also been needed for emergency works to repair major storm damage sustained over the past two years.

A large part of the 2005/06 NLTP represents continued funding for ongoing activities such as road maintenance and passenger transport services, as well as funds committed to projects approved in previous years.

Key features of this year’s NLTP include:

- District and City Councils are receiving $480 million to maintain and improve local road networks, an increase of $58 million from last year. This will keep local roads in good condition and help to address serious safety problems.

- Transit New Zealand is receiving $873 million to maintain and improve the state highway network, an increase of $137 million from last year. This continues the focus on serious safety and congestion issues around the country.

- $240m in passenger transport funding, including $121 million aimed at maintaining and expanding services and $119 million for developing infrastructure to support better services.

- An allocation of $51.5 million will be set aside for specific activities such as emergency works and preventive maintenance to minimise the threat of road closure.

Other highlights of the 2005/06 NLTP include funding for the development of toll systems, walking and cycling projects and specific allocations for traffic management and travel behaviour change.

The NLTP includes $436.5 million in ‘unallocated’ funding. While all of this money will be spent in 2005/06, it has not yet been earmarked to specific projects.

This year’s NLTP is the first to include regionally distributed funding raised from the 5c per litre increase in petrol excise and the associated increase in Road User Charges for light vehicles introduced on April 1 this year. The distribution of regional funding has been determined on the basis of population.

Dr Wright stressed that regionally distributed funding will be allocated over a 10 year period, with all regions receiving their full allocation over the 10 years.

“While this extra funding will be allocated and approved through the usual NLTP processes, Land Transport NZ is seeking increased regional involvement in setting priorities for this funding. Allocation of this funding has begun slowly because some regions need time to set their priorities, and the more expensive construction phase of projects will occur later in the 10 year period.”

This year’s NLTP is the first to be prepared by Land Transport NZ, created by the merger of Transfund New Zealand and the Land Transport Safety Authority in December 2004.

Dr Wright says the activities funded through the NLTP reflect Land Transport NZ’s objective of contributing to an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system.

“New Zealand faces huge transport challenges. The $1.7 billion allocated by this year’s NLTP, together with the extra transport funding of $100 million per year for three years from 2006/07 announced in this year’s Budget and the further $500 million announced last week, will help us meet those challenges.”

Dr Wright said an announcement would be made in August detailing how the extra $500 million in transport funding will be allocated.

Regional newsletters, a fact sheet and the NLTP book, which details all projects in the 2005/06 NLTP, will be available at www.landtransport.govt.nz from 6pm today.

ENDS

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