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Land Transport Investment Welcomed

27 June 2002

Acting Transport Minister Judith Tizard today welcomed Transfund’s announcement that a record $1.1 billion is to be spent on roading and other land transport projects in the new financial year.

“This is the largest annual injection of funding ever made into land transport, and is the result of the major boost to land transport funding announced by the government earlier this year.

“The new spending is $150 million more than allocated last year."

The increase in planned spending includes $348.6 million for new roading construction projects, up $34 million on last year’s allocation.

Key roading projects likely to proceed as a result of this new funding include:
- improvements to Auckland’s central motorway junction, at a total cost of $156.5 million;
- a second upper harbour bridge between Hobsonville and Greenhithe in Auckland;
- improvements to State Highway One in Wellington, between Plimmerton and Mana; and
- completion of the four-laning of the Main North Road in Christchurch.

While roading continues to be the main focus for funding, the amount available for alternatives to cars, such as passenger transport and cycling and walking is at an all time high.

“The government’s package of changes earlier this year promised a better balance of the land transport mix, funding more roading but also widening the mix to include these alternatives. The funding allocations today reflect that more balanced approach.

“Passenger transport will get $85 million this year which is double what it was in our first year in government.

“Since we introduced patronage funding there has been a huge increase in public transport use – it is up by 12% nationally, and as much as 22% in Canterbury.”

“This government has also been anxious to assist regional development by improving transport infrastructure in key areas. For the first time ever there is funding specifically for regional development, with $26.7 million allocated for this.

Another first is the allocation of $3.7 million in the next year to promote walking and cycling. This will enable key strategy studies to be done, along with the construction of cycleways and pedestrian facilities in regions where these are a priority.

“And there is also a massive increase in the allocation for alternatives to roading. There will be $29 million available for these projects this year, up from $8 million last year. Bids have been received for a variety of projects, including improvements to infrastructure and rolling stock for Auckland and Wellington commuter rail services.


Ms Tizard said that legislation to further improve land transport, also signalled earlier in the year, will be introduced as soon as possible after the election.

“That legislation will take the land transport changes one step further, including allowing greater use of funding alternatives for financing major roading projects such as public-private partnerships.”


Ends

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