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Wellington a winner from new roading plan

30 June 2003 Media Statement

Wellington a winner from new roading plan

Wellington Central MP Marian Hobbs says the region has done well in Transit New Zealand’s revised 10-year plan, with eight of the 54 top-ranked major roading projects.

These include the Wellington Inner City bypass and an overbridge at Mackays Crossing on SH1 near Paraparaumu.

The Inner City bypass has moved to sixth in Transit’s 10-year plan from its earlier 10th place and the $30m in funding is scheduled for this financial year, not 2005/6 as in the initial Transit draft.

However, Marian Hobbs says the by-pass is one of a handful of major projects subject to a review by Transit and Transfund, to ensure they are consistent with the government’s transport objectives.

“I understand the review will be completed by the end of this year,” Marian Hobbs said.

“Other Wellington projects include plans to commence construction of an overbridge at Mackays Crossing on SH1 this year. Transit’s draft plan had scheduled this in 2006/7. The cost is $12m.

“Allied to the huge improvements this will bring to commuters and other travelers is Transit’s $24.6m contribution to Stage 1 of the Kapiti Western Link Rd. That’s moved from 16th to 10th in ranking and is now scheduled to start in 2006/7, a year earlier than Transit’s initial draft plan.

“I’d like to thank Transit and Transport Minister Paul Swain, who has supported improvements to Wellington region’s transport infrastructure.

“We need to acknowledge that Transit has done its best within its budget. Wellington’s eight projects should put an end to the idea that only Auckland will benefit from the extra money this government is directing into transport to catch up on earlier neglect,” Marian Hobbs said.

Transport Minister Paul Swain said Transit and the transport-funding agency Transfund had listened to the concerns of all New Zealanders in delivering today’s announcements. This year’s spending under the National Land Transport Programme is $1.19 billion, a $90m (7.5 percent) increase on 2002/3. He said he was particularly pleased to more funding going into roading initiatives, public passenger transport and cycle routes. Paul Swain said the government’s bid to buy Tranz Rail was, in part, a further reflection of the determination to have a comprehensive transport strategy for New Zealand.

ENDS

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