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Transit releases its 10-year plan

Transit releases its 10-year plan

Transit New Zealand today released its plan for the state highway network for 2004/05 and for the following nine years.

"At this stage planned expenditure totals $8.6 billion over the 10 years but we are anticipating additional funding for state highways will come from regional distribution funding from increased petrol tax announced in December last year," said Transit chairperson David Stubbs.

"The policy on how these funds will be allocated is still being finalised by Transfund New Zealand, but we have requested an additional $1.5 billion over the 10 years. This could enable us to undertake some projects earlier and to develop additional projects."

For new construction work Transit has budgeted $90 million more than in the previous year, which represents a 28 percent increase and would enable significant congestion relief projects to proceed, said Mr Stubbs.

Large new projects planned to start this financial year are major motorway works at Mt Roskill, Manukau and Waiouru in Auckland, Meeanee Road in Napier, and highway improvements at Mangatawhiri and Avalon Drive in the Waikato, and Tumai in Otago.

"This work programme builds on the momentum we have established over the last 12 months when we have committed to the construction of the Northern Busway in Auckland, the Hewletts Flyover in Tauranga, the Inner City Bypass in Wellington and the Main North Road Four-Laning in Christchurch.

"In this programme we are signalling Transit's commitment to engaging with local authority partners and key road user representatives to implement travel demand management measures. We need to reduce the rate of traffic growth in those places where road building alone will not solve the congestion problems. Improved traffic management measures such as extending the Advanced Traffic Management System in Auckland are also planned," he said.

Large developments are projected over the 10-year period but projects costing less than $3 million are programmed just three years in advance.

"The plan includes valuable works on this smaller scale in all areas of the country. There are major programmes of safety improvements and additional passing lanes and also included are stock effluent disposal facilities.”

In addition to incorporating walking and cycling facilities in new projects, Transit continues the development of dedicated walking and cycling projects in conjunction with local authority facilities.

Transit is continuing its commitment to maintenance by a 10 percent increase to $337 million in its maintenance and corridor management programme for 2004/05.

"This is based on systematic analysis and makes allowance for recent price rises from the contracting industry. The total allocated to maintenance over the 10 years is $4 billion.

"We consulted extensively on developing this 10-year programme and the board's priorities are in accordance with the New Zealand Transport Strategy and Transfund's Allocation Process. Those consulted included regional land transport committees (RLTCs), local authorities, national organisations such as NZAA, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the Road Transport Forum, as well as iwi," said Mr Stubbs.

"Because it is a long-term process getting projects to the implementation stage, Transit cannot immediately switch to achieving the vision and objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy. However, we are confident Transit's State Highway Plan for 2004/05 - 2013/14 has been prepared in the spirit of the strategy and is moving in the right direction. In particular, we have redirected our investigation and planning to ensure rapid realisation of a sustainable land transport system."

ends For further information go to: www.transit.govt.nz Detailed maps and timing of projects are listed by region.

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