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National Will Smash Congestion With Intergenerational Funding

National will deliver a record level of congestion-busting transport infrastructure if elected in September, Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Congestion costs Auckland over $1 billion per year. It means unreliable journey times, goods being delivered late to market, and endless frustration.

“Our plan for Auckland and the upper North Island is a 20-year pipeline of projects that will smash congestion through better public transport and safer roads.

“Previous governments have not been ambitious enough in dealing to congestion. World-class cities have high-quality public transport networks where mass transit is a normal part of everyday life.

“Under National, Auckland will become the world-class city it can and should be – and the Upper North Island will become an interconnected economic powerhouse.”

National’s plan consists of $31 billion of new transport investment over the next ten years, on top of that already committed by the Labour-led Government. About $17 billion will go into National’s Upper North Island Transport Package.

“National is the party of infrastructure, and we will put an end to the past three years of chaotic mismanagement of the transport portfolio by Phil Twyford and Julie Anne Genter,” Mr Bishop says.

“We will begin immediately by pumping $300 million into digger-ready projects across the country in 2021 – fixing potholes, roundabouts, and crash corners.

“We will restore state highway funding within the National Land Transport Fund and every dollar that goes into that fund will benefit road users. Crown funding will pay for our expansion of the existing rail network in Auckland.

“National will repeal the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax within our first 100 days in office, delivering $150 million in savings per year into Aucklanders’ back pockets.

“We will not increase fuel tax or road user charges in our first term.”

National is also proposing a major change to transport funding that will allow significantly more investment in infrastructure, adding jobs and supporting growth across the country.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will be allowed to borrow significantly more on its own balance sheet, using the $4 billion in annual revenue it gets from fuel tax and road user charges to service the debt.

This will allow transport funding to operate on an intergenerational basis rather than year-to-year as it does now.

“This is like a household trying to buy a house without a mortgage, and does not make sense,” Mr Bishop says.

The Upper North Island package is just the start. National will be announcing infrastructure plans across the length and breadth of the country in the coming weeks, Mr Bishop says.

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