Trans­port plan strains re­sources

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - JIM CHIPP

Trav­el­ling around the Welling­ton re­gion is about to get a fund­ing turbo boost.

NZ Trans­port Agency has re­leased the cost es­ti­mates for the projects in the Re­gional Land Trans­port Strat­egy.

For the next six years, the bud­get is $3.78 bil­lion and the bud­get for the 10-year plan is $6.62 bil­lion.

Hutt Val­ley Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Fut­ter said the work was long over­due.

Trans­port in­fras­truc­ture was the big­gest prob­lem fac­ing lo­cal busi­ness and Welling­ton had fallen a decade be­hind Auck­land, he said.

More was needed but it would put the lo­cal work­force un­der pres­sure.

‘‘The cross-val­ley link ... that piece of work is crit­i­cal ... more crit­i­cal than Pe­tone to Gre­nada,’’ Fut­ter said.

‘‘It’s an ab­so­lute in­dict­ment that, de­pend­ing on what time you leave Up­per Hutt, it can take up to two hours to get to the air­port.’’

The huge pro­gramme had trick­le­down ben­e­fit for lo­cal small-tomedium en­ter­prise op­er­a­tors but would put ‘‘a hell of a pres­sure on the work­force’’.

‘‘If all of this work con­tin­ues si­mul­ta­ne­ously, we are go­ing to have a prob­lem.’’

Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil trans­port port­fo­lio leader Paul Swain said it was the big­gest trans­port pro­gramme Welling­ton has ever seen.

The mix­ture of road work, pub­lic trans­port and cy­cling and walk­ing in­fras­truc­ture would have a big im­pact on the Welling­ton re­gional econ­omy.

To achieve the full ben­e­fit from the Pe­tone to Gre­nada high­way a cross val­ley link road was nec­es­sary, he said.

‘‘The trans­port com­mit­tee sees them as go­ing hand in hand,’’ he said.

NZ Trans­port Agency re­gional high­ways man­ager Neil Walker said the agency ran reg­u­lar en­gage­ment ses­sions with con­struc­tion sec­tor con­trac­tors and con­sul­tants to share its pro­gramme and get feed­back.

‘‘We con­sider the tim­ing of our projects and make any ad­just­ments to the pro­gramme we feel nec­es­sary to en­sure suitable lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion for all con­tracts.’’

High­ways are the big­gest ticket item by far, ac­count­ing for $2.5 bil­lion. Trans­mis­sion Gully makes up $750 mil­lion.

New Matangi trains will cost $170 mil­lion, mod­ernised tick­ets $100 mil­lion, rapid bus trans­port $60 mil­lion and the Welling­ton to Hutt Val­ley cy­cle­way $50 mil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.