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Highways to get major funding boost under National

16 December 2019

National will remedy Labour’s neglect of New Zealand’s highways by reigniting our Roads of National Significance build programme and introducing a new category of funding for Roads of Regional Significance, Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“National is the Party that builds roads. The previous Government spent $12 billion on the first seven Roads of National Significance (RONS) – transformational projects that connected our regions and unlocked the potential of our cities, towns and provinces.

“Thousands of Kiwis now enjoy safer, faster journeys on the Tauranga Eastern Link, the Waikato and Kāpiti expressways, Christchurch’s new motorways, and through Auckland’s Waterview Tunnel because of National’s record investment.

“But there’s more to be done. National will go bigger and bolder than Labour when it comes to investment in our highways because we know Kiwis are sick of daily gridlock and the rising road toll.

“We’re proposing to complete the original Roads of National Significance and begin a second generation programme.

“More detail will be released in 2020 about which projects we will commit to, but we’re interested in feedback on upgrading the following routes to four-lane expressway standard:

• Whangārei to Warkworth
• East West Link in Auckland
• Cambridge to Tirau
• Piarere to the foot of the Kaimai Ranges
• Tauranga to Katikati, including the Tauranga Northern Link
• Napier to Hastings
• Levin to Sanson
• Manawatū Gorge
• Christchurch to Ashburton
• Christchurch Northern Motorway: Belfast to Pegasus

“Councils sometimes struggle to upgrade local roads under current funding rules. To fix this National is proposing a new funding priority called Roads of Regional Significance (RORS) that will increase the Government contribution towards these vital improvements.

“Road safety is a top priority for National and we’re proposing a comprehensive rollout of median barriers, side barriers, shoulder widening, and rumble strips to upgrade roads and fix dangerous intersections.

National is also proposing to improve our road network by:

• Introducing legislation to implement roadside drug testing
• Decreasing the use of random speed cameras and increasing signposted cameras
• Placing a serious focus on improving safety at level rail crossings

“It is also critical that we deal with congestion in our major cities, which is why National is proposing to introduce revenue-neutral congestion pricing to help unclog their streets.

“Congestion pricing will be a game-changer by encouraging commuters to either travel earlier or later in the day, take a different route, or use public transport.

“National has long had an ambitious programme of transport investment and we are committed to getting New Zealand moving again if elected in 2020.”

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