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$375m to accelerate Auckland transport projects

$375m to accelerate Auckland transport projects

Budget 2014 provides $375 million of new capital funding for the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to accelerate $815 million worth of Auckland transport projects, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

The projects will address congestion in our largest city, capitalise on the benefits of major roading projects already under way, such as the Western Ring Route, and improve access to Auckland International Airport.

“No Government has invested so heavily in transport infrastructure across all transport modes,” Mr Brownlee says.

“But with freight demand forecast to grow by around 50 per cent across the country in the next 30 years, and by almost 80 per cent in Auckland, and with a growing population, we’ve decided to bring a number of important projects forward.”

The programme to deliver the Auckland transport package is:
· Delivery of projects on the Northern Corridor, Southern Corridor and State Highway 20A (as outlined in the following table) by 2019/20 ($800 million).
· Further investigations to determine the preferred scope of the East-West Link over 2014/15 ($10 million).
· Progression of the Panmure to Pakuranga phase of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) over 2014/15 ($5 million).

“Some of these projects were up to a decade from starting, but we’ve decided they simply must begin sooner to give Auckland the best opportunity of moving people and goods around the region,” Mr Brownlee says.

The $375 million will be transferred to NZTA as an interest-free loan, to be repaid to the Crown by funding currently allocated to these projects in the National Land Transport Fund up to 2026/27.

The Government is also announcing today $32.7 million of new operating funding over the next four years to cover the debt financing cost to the Crown of the interest-free loan.
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