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Auckland – a transport priority for government

25 September, 2002 Media Statement

Auckland – a transport priority for government


Minister of Transport Paul Swain said tackling Auckland’s transport problems would be a key focus of the government this term, as he outlined the government’s vision for transport at the Auckland Regional Council today.

“The government is determined to promote long-term growth in the New Zealand economy and transport is crucial in achieving that goal,” he said. Getting transport right in Auckland is critical. It is estimated that Auckland’s traffic congestion costs the New Zealand economy about $1 billion a year.

“This is one of the reasons that Transfund NZ has allocated $320 million, almost a third of its 2002/2003 total expenditure, to the Auckland region’s roading network and passenger transport operations.”

Projects that this money will be spent on include: an ongoing investigation and design of capacity improvements to the length of the motorway from Newmarket Viaduct to Greenlane and from the Harbour Bridge to Victoria Park Viaduct; more design work for the North Shore Busway; the refurbishment of some older rail rolling stock; improvements to bus and ferry services; the construction of a second Upper Harbour Bridge and a deviation at Greenhithe on SH18; the construction of the SH20 motorway extension through Mt Roskill; the construction of a new interchange at Esmonde Rd on SH1 and improvements to Auckland’s Central Motorway Junction to cope with heavy traffic demands and to improve motorway links.

“I looked forward to turning the first sod of the Central Motorway Junction (Spaghetti Junction) project later today,” said Mr Swain.

“The government has already made a major commitment to the future development of Auckland by purchasing the regional rail passenger system, and working with the cities and regions to develop a cost-effective rail transit network as an important element of the Auckland Growth Strategy,” he said.

Mr Swain said the passage of the Land Transport Management Bill, to be introduced to Parliament before the end of the year, would have significant benefits for Auckland. “The bill will allow public private partnerships and tolling to fund transport infrastructure. I look forward to seeing communities such as Auckland take up these opportunities. For example the Alpurt Project between Albany and Puhoi is a project that may be suitable for a public private partnership.”


ENDS

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