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Govt Committed To Attacking Auckland Congestion

Govt Committed To Attacking Auckland Congestion

MEDIA STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
26 August 1999

GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO ATTACKING AUCKLAND TRAFFIC CONGESTION

The Government is committed to attacking the traffic congestion in Auckland and will include measures to deal with it in its roading programme, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

"I am confident we will be able to put the necessary changes in place during next year. We were able to give this assurance to the mayors of Auckland after I met them today along with Treasurer Bill English and Transport and Local Government Minister Maurice Williamson.

"I was encouraged to hear the progress the Mayors have made on their Regional Land Transport Strategy, which should be completed at the end of October."

Mrs Shipley said she gave the mayors an assurance that the Government would look closely at the Strategy and work with Auckland authorities to implement it as soon as possible.

"The Mayors and Infrastructure Auckland have some innovative solutions to Auckland's congestion problems.

"We gave the mayors an undertaking that Transfund and Transit New Zealand would work with them to resolve State highway, regional roading and public transport issues.

"I have also offered to work with other stakeholders in Auckland's transport future, including Tranzrail, to help rapidly resolve any other roadblocks."

Mrs Shipley commended the Mayors' on their unified approach in preparing the Strategy and said she expected good progress to be made.

"That progress depends on major elements of Better Transport, Better Roads being completed. National is committed to seeing that occur.

"A big weakness at present is that investment lags behind demand.

"In areas of high growth, such as Auckland, congestion is inevitable under the current arrangements. Even so, on existing funding arrangements, $170 million is being spent this year on state highways alone and around $1 billion is planned to be committed to state highways in the Auckland region over the next eight years.

"Our new approach will also deliver on the Mayors' request for better pricing of land transport."

Mrs Shipley said the meeting focused exclusively on transport issues and was worthwhile and constructive.

ENDS


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