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$130 million plus investment in West Coast transport networks

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The NZ Transport Agency has announced details of a programme with a provisional total of $131 million to be invested in West Coast transport system over the next three years, through the 2015-18 National Land Transport programme.

The Transport Agency’s Board has confirmed investment levels for 10 separate activity classes included in the 2015-18 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), and endorsed it as giving effect to the 2015 Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS). The $13.9 billion forecast expenditure nationally for 2015-18 marks a 15 per cent increase compared to the previous 2012-15 NLTP.

The NLTP is a partnership between local authorities who invest local funding on behalf of ratepayers and the Transport Agency which invests national funding from petrol taxes, road user charges and vehicle registration and licensing fees through the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF). The $13.9 billion 2015-18 NLTP includes $10.5 billion from the NLTF with the remainder primarily from local authorities.

This NLTP follows the direction outlined in the Government Policy Statement on land transport funding (GPS), with a focus on creating transport solutions that will support economic growth and productivity, improve safety, provide people with a range of transport choices and deliver the best possible value for money.

Transport Agency Regional Director southern Jim Harland, says safety and route resilience along with road safety for tourists and the efficient movement of freight, are among the biggest challenges facing the West Coast over the next three years.  The investment in the region’s transport network over the next three years will focus on this by maintaining the efficiency, overall resilience and safety of the region’s road network.

The investment in the West Coast region for 2015-18 includes approximately $41 million for maintaining the efficiency of local roads and $69 million for the region’s state high network over this period.

Funding for key projects to help create transport solutions for a thriving West Coast include:

  • A $22 million realignment of SH73 at Mingha Bluff at Arthurs Pass that will offer safer and more predictable journeys between the West Coast and Canterbury
  • A new road bridge across the SH6 Taramakau Bridge that will greatly improve road safety for all road users. This project is subject to funding approval.
  • Improving safety for visitor drivers.

Mr Harland says while the 2015-18 National Land Transport Programme represents a significant investment in New Zealand’s transport system, with the country facing tight economic conditions, not all proposed activities could be funded.

“We’ve been working closely with West Coast local authorities for several months to ensure that funding targets the areas and the activities where it is needed most and delivers the best outcomes for the greatest number of people in the region. We will continue working closely with West Coast council’s as the 2015-18 National Land Transport Programme is implemented over the next three years.” Mr Harland says. 

To find out more information about the national and regional NLTP funding, documents and Q&As are available on the NZ Transport Agency website at www.nzta.govt.nz/NLTP (external link)

2015-18 NLTP - Questions and Answers

What is the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP)?

The NZ Transport Agency develops the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) every three years to give effect to the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS). The NLTP sets out the activities that address the government’s transport priorities to give effect to the GPS.

Activities and projects which form part of the NLTP are the product of close collaboration, particularly between the Transport Agency and local government.

Investments are funded in a range of activity classes – a total of 10 in 2015-18, which are:

  • State highway improvements
  • State highways maintenance
  • Local road improvements
  • Local roads maintenance
  • Public transport
  • Walking and cycling
  • Road policing
  • Road safety promotion
  • Regional improvements
  • Investment management

What is the primary focus of this NLTP?

This 2015-18 NLTP investments are aimed squarely at increasing economic growth and productivity, improving safety and driving value for money, reflecting the strategic direction set by the 2015 GPS.

The programme has a strong focus on economic growth and productivity with 55% of investment focused towards this outcome. A total of 23% is focused on road safety and 22% on travel choices and the environment.

The investments made through the NLTP aimed to be regionally responsive and nationally consistent. Giving effect to the GPS, investment through this NLTP reflects the Transport Agency’s commitment to delivering value for money from existing and planned activities and driving improved performance from the land transport system.

How has the NLTP been developed?

The programme is a partnership between the Transport Agency and local authorities (who invest revenue primarily from rates). Funds for much of the Transport Agency investments come from the National Land Transport Fund, made up primarily of revenue received from things such as road user charges, fuel excise duty and vehicle registration.

The preparation of the 2015-18 NLTP has been informed by 16 regional transport committees and Auckland Transport. The committees developed regional land transport plans outlining activities to be submitted for NLTP funding.

Public submissions were considered by the regional transport committees on the final projects and activities that were submitted to the Transport Agency for potential inclusion in the NLTP. They were then assessed and prioritised according to a range of investment criteria to establish whether they were eligible for funding and of good value for money.

This process means the Transport Agency can build an overview of land transport requirements. The aim has been to develop an NLTP which is regionally responsive and nationally consistent.

How does the NLTP reflect regional land transport programmes?

Regional land transport plans (RLTPs) are an essential building block for the NLTP. However, these plans generally include more activities than there is funding available both regionally and nationally. This means that some activities in RLTPs may not proceed if sufficient funding is not available.

How much money will be invested in land transport through the NLTP over the next three years?

Total investment in this NLTP is $13.9 billion. This represents a 15% increase in total funding compared with the 2012-15 NLTP. A total of $10.5b will come from the National Land Transport Fund.

Key highlights of NLTP investment over the next three years:

  • Improvements to state highways and local roads of more than $5.5b are planned
  • Close to $2b total investment is planned for public transport, and represents a 21% increase compared to 2012-15
  • Direct investment in cycling will increase by 205% to $251m
  • About 42% of investment ($5.4b) will be outside the three key metropolitan areas outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
  • About one third of the investment ($4.2b) will be in Auckland’s transport system and services
  • Planned co-investment between the Transport Agency and local councils for 2015-18 will be about $6.2b. 
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