Trans­port sys­tem boost

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

Auck­land’s trans­port sys­tem will re­ceive a $2.8 bil­lion fund­ing boost dur­ing the next three years, a $613 mil­lion in­crease in in­vest­ment com­pared with pre­vi­ous years.

The funds are part of the New Zealand Trans­port Agency’s $8.7b boost for the na­tional land trans­port pro­gramme.

It is de­signed to move Auck­land for­ward with a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in pub­lic trans­port spending and a stronger cap­i­tal works pro­gramme for state high­ways.

Agency chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­off Danger­field says it places em­pha­sis on ac­tiv­i­ties that en­cour­age eco­nomic growth, pro­duc­tiv­ity and em­ploy­ment.

He says Auck­land’s pub­lic trans­port sys­tem is set to re­ceive $518m dur­ing the next three years through the pro­gramme.

“Pub­lic trans­port is crit­i­cal to con­tribut­ing to eco­nomic growth in the re­gion by re­duc­ing peak time con­ges­tion.”

Mr Danger­field says other pri­or­i­ties for the in­vest­ment in­clude new or up­graded rail sta­tions, new trains, in­te­grated tick­et­ing, ferry ter­mi­nal up­grades, com­plet­ing the cen­tral con­nec­tor bus corridor, fund­ing roads of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance and many other projects.

San­dring­ham Rd im­prove­ments near Eden Park in prepa­ra­tion for the 2011 Rugby World Cup will also be funded.

“Auck­land is the en­gine room of the na­tional econ­omy and this ad­di­tional in­vest­ment will help un­lock the re­gion’s po­ten­tial to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity and cre­ate jobs at a crit­i­cal time for New Zealand.”

Trans­port Min­is­ter Steven Joyce says this is the largest ever in­vest­ment in the sys­tem and rep­re­sents a 17 per­cent in­crease from the pre­vi­ous three-year pe­riod.

“This sus­tained boost to in­vest­ment refl the im­por­tance of trans­port to our eco­nomic prospects.”

Mr Joyce says within three years the Vic­to­ria Park project will be com­plete and the west­ern ring route construction will have started.

The time frame for the pro­gramme al­lows for in­vest­ments with a longer term view.

Auck­land Busi­ness Fo­rum chair­man Michael Bar­nett says he is dis­ap­pointed there is no fund­ing pro­vi­sion for the east-west link be­tween State High­way 1 at Mt Welling­ton and SH20 at One­hunga.

“The Neil­son St corridor car­ries more freight and other busi­ness traf­fic than many of the re­gion’s state high­ways and is heav­ily con­gested most days.”

Ge­off Danger­field

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