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NZTA thanks Bay of Plenty for submissions on tolling
proposal

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The NZ Transport Agency today thanked the people of Bay of Plenty for getting involved in consultation on a proposal to bring forward construction of the Tauranga Eastern Link through tolling.

The NZ Transport Agency today thanked the people of Bay of Plenty for getting involved in consultation on a proposal to bring forward construction of the Tauranga Eastern Link through tolling.

During the five-week consultation process 3537 organisations or individuals made submissions on the plan.  The vast majority were from the Bay of Plenty region.

NZ Transport Agency Regional Director Harry Wilson said the NZTA was pleased with the number of submissions.

“We know the time and effort involved in considering the proposal and making a submission and want to offer our thanks to everyone who sent us their thoughts.  To get over 3500 submissions is great news and it shows just how interested the region is in this issue.”

Mr Wilson said over 80 percent of submissions fully supported the tolling proposal, with less than 10 percent not in favour. The NZTA was looking forward to hearing people give submissions in person at hearings on 12-15 October.

The key benefits highlighted by those supporting the toll proposal included:

  • Improved road safety and fewer crashes
  • Reduced travelling time and congestion
  • Improved efficiency for port traffic
  • The potential economic benefits to the area
  • The fact that an alternative toll-free route would be still available to those who did not wish to pay the toll

Mr Wilson said the consultation process had also highlighted some important issues for the local community and travelling public, and these will be considered in the upcoming hearings.

He said the main concern highlighted in submissions opposing the tolling proposal was the view that the project should be fully government funded.

The Tauranga Eastern Link is an important project for the Bay of Plenty and is expected to cost $455 million at today’s prices.  At 23km it will be the longest state highway construction contract in New Zealand.

Without tolling, construction would most likely to start in five to 10 years. If tolling gets the go ahead it would supplement traditional funding sources enabling construction to start next year.

Web: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/easternlink(external link)

 For more information please contact:

Janice McDougall
Manager National Communications
NZ Transport Agency
DDI: 04 894 6429
Mobile : 027 3266545
Email: janice.mcdougall@nzta.govt.nz

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