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Barging option funded to take traffic off roads

12 November 2004

Barging option funded to take traffic off roads

A proposal to barge aggregate from Kopu, near Thames, to Auckland which funding applicant Environment Waikato estimates will eliminate the need for 38 truck trips per day has been approved by Transfund New Zealand.

The proposal comprises the barging of aggregate from Kopu to Henderson, through the Firth of Thames, Tamaki Straight and Waitemata Harbour.

Environment Waikato says the project will be self-sufficient by the end of a three-year project. Consequently, Transfund approved funding of up to $3.47 per tonne of aggregate carted in the first year of operation, $1.34 per tonne in the second year of operation and $0.65 per tonne for the third year of operation. After this time, Transfund's financial contribution will cease.

Transfund chair Dr Jan Wright says the decision to fund this activity of up to a maximum of just over $289,000 over the three years would potentially remove the need for 13,800 truck trips each year, or an average of 38 truck trips each day, from Waikato and Auckland roads.

Fewer trucks on roads will mean increased safety and reduced maintenance costs, she says. "This proposal is one option to remove trucks from state highways, thus improving safety for the Waikato region, and reducing congestion and assisting economic development in Auckland," Dr Wright says.

ENDS

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