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Road Investment Welcomed

June 21 2001 Media Statement

Road Investment Welcomed

Transport Minister Mark Gosche today welcomed Transfund’s announcement that it will invest a further $10 million on roads and passenger transport services, bringing the transport funding body’s total expenditure this year to $950 million.

“This increase will help progress a number of important projects throughout the country, not the least of which is easing Auckland’s gridlock,” Mr Gosche said.

I’m pleased to see that nearly $189 million will be spent in Auckland this year on roading and passenger services in the region. This is up by 10.4% on last year.”

“A 17% increase in passenger transport funding, to a total of $61 million, reflects the success of the patronage funding system introduced last year,” said Mr Gosche.

Under this system, Regional Councils that increase passenger numbers on buses, trains and ferries, receive increased funding to match. Some areas have already achieved on average 8 per cent increases in patronage as a result and that figure is expected to grow.

Mr Gosche said that the Transfund announcement meant that despite pressure on maintenance expenditure, which is up 4% as a result of substantial increases in bitumen prices, a range of important projects are to receive funding.

This includes the investigation and design stage of the upgrades to Spaghetti Junction and Grafton Gully, the extension of the Hawke’s Bay Expressway to Napier Airport, and a range of seal extension works on rural roads around the country.

Mr Gosche said he expected the Government to make decisions on longer term land transport policy over the next few months.

ENDS




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