Transport plan strains resources
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.