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Progress On A Transport Solution For Auckland

Progress On A Transport Solution For Auckland

Central and local government report progress on a transport solution for Auckland

The Transport Minister Paul Swain and the Chair of the Auckland Mayoral Forum George Wood say significant progress has been made in the project looking for strategic and funding solutions to transport issues in the Auckland region.

At a meeting of the Mayoral Forum in Auckland today, Mr Swain and Mr Wood announced details of the work streams that will investigate options and develop and finalise solutions by early next year.

Mr Swain and Mr Wood emphasised the importance of central and local government working together on solutions that are workable, sustainable and timely, and that fit the broader objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy.

They say it is also important to see the Auckland project in the context of wider transport solutions, including existing funding arrangements under the National Land Transport Programme, as well as the Land Transport Management Bill that will be passed this year.

Mr Swain and Mr Wood say this is the first time ever there has been co-operation on this scale between Auckland and central government.

"We are pleased with the co-operative approach and sense of urgency that is being shown by all involved in this project."

Mr Swain says the Government is committed to helping Auckland bridge the region's transport funding shortfall.

Mayor Wood emphasises the Government needs to help Auckland complete the region's strategic transport network. "There is a backlog of infrastructure investment that cannot be implemented through the conventional funding mechanisms. This is about working with the Government to find the money and solutions to deliver our Regional Land Transport Strategy."

The Auckland project is overseen by a group of officials from central and local government.

It includes representatives of the Ministers of Finance and Transport, Auckland local authorities, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Internal Affairs, and Local Government New Zealand.

The objective of the Auckland project group is: To develop a funding package that enables the timely implementation of an agreed network strategy, having assessed the fit of the Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy with central government's New Zealand Transport Strategy and public policy outcomes.

Mr Swain and Mr Wood say the group has divided its work into streams, and set timeframes for completion of the work.

The work streams are:

NETWORK COMPLETION To identify and assess the costs and benefits of worthwhile further expansion of the Auckland land transport networks to 2010 and beyond.

DEBT FINANCING To identify the mechanisms by which any required debt for the further development of the Auckland land transport network could be raised, held and allocated.

INTERIM FUNDING To identify the options for funding further development of the Auckland land transport network, and their implications within a national and regional context.

TRAVEL DEMAND MANAGEMENT - NON PRICING To consider a broad range of demand and supply options (e.g. walking buses, site specific transport plans, linked traffic light systems, parking charges) to optimise use of the Auckland network, and their implications for further development of the network within a national and regional context.

TRAVEL DEMAND MANAGEMENT - PRICING To identify agreed TDM pricing options (e.g. tolling) for Auckland, and to assess their impacts on, and contribution to, the Auckland regional transport network and beyond.

MITIGATION AND CONSENTS To develop proposals that will improve the quality, certainty and timeliness of network consents within the Auckland region, and to identify the level of mitigation warranted, and determine where the responsibility for mitigation costs lies.

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS To identify the social and economic impacts of further development and funding of the Auckland network, and ways of increasing the positive impacts and reducing the negative impacts.

FINAL PROJECT REPORT To bring together the work streams into a clear summary of the proposals for completion and funding of the Auckland land transport network, and the implications of these proposals, together with a set of recommendations, including an implementation pathway.

The officials on each work stream have already held initial meetings, and each is required to produce a final report to the Auckland project group by 31 October 2003.

The project group will report to Auckland Mayors and Councils and Ministers in December 2003.

This will allow sufficient time for agreed initiatives to be incorporated into the 2004/05 budget programme.

Any initiatives requiring legislation will be considered as part of that programme, or by way of amendment to land transport legislation.

ENDS

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