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Hawke’s Bay transport package a boost for prosperity and safety

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The NZ Transport Agency has today announced a $221m transport investment over the next three years to make the transport network across the top of the South Island more safe, resilient and cycle-friendly.

Building on a healthy trend of economic growth in Hawke’s Bay while keeping communities safe is the focus of a three-year package of transport investment for the region announced today by the NZ Transport Agency, valued at nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.

Transport Agency Regional Director Central Raewyn Bleakley says today’s announcement of the National Land Transport Programme includes an investment of $178m for the upkeep of the region’s roads over the next three years. The total package of $245m also includes an additional $22m of highway investment to improve the region’s resilience, safety and freight efficiency, and $14m for the Whakatu Arterial Link, which will provide a vital freight link to and from the Port of Napier.

Ms Bleakley says the programme also sees record levels of investment in public transport services and walking and cycling initiatives.

She says the Whakatu Arterial Link represents a crucial piece of the puzzle that will improve connectivity between the Port of Napier, the Whakatu freight distribution hub and State Highway 2. This will improve the efficiency and productivity of moving goods from their source to their destination, helping to make Hawke’s Bay an even more attractive place to do business.

“We want the transport system to be a real catalyst for economic growth and prosperity, and freeing up access to the Port will make the Hawke’s Bay economy more competitive, and unlock further potential for economic growth.”

The programme also identifies $4.4m of investment for additional High Productivity Motor Vehicle (HPMV) routes to Gisborne and Manawatu.  HPMV routes enable more freight to be carried on fewer trucks, benefitting both businesses and fellow road users.

Ms Bleakley says safety remains a top priority, and investment would be focused on addressing high-risk sections of road to help bring down Hawke’s Bay’s worrying road toll. This involves targeting and improving intersections that have high crash rates, and upgrading other high risk locations.

“The number of people losing their life on Hawke’s Bay roads is an ongoing tragedy, and a big focus over the next few years will be gaining a stronger understanding of where the risks are, what the root causes of these crashes are, and targeting these areas to turn this around.”

Through the recent Urban Cycleways Fund, Hawke’s Bay would continue to develop an enviable cycling network. The combined $9m investment from the Urban Cycleways Fund, the National Land Transport Fund and council funding is the highest ever investment in cycling in Hawke’s Bay. 

“Hawke’s Bay has very much set the gold standard for making travel safe and easy for pedestrians and cyclists.  With more than 50km of cycle facilities in the pipeline, Hawke’s Bay will continue to be one of the best places in the country to hop on a bike, while helping to get cars off the road and keep people safe and healthy.

The programme also includes continuing investment of $13m for public transport to help make bus travel more attractive and prevent congestion, up 30% on the last programme. The region has achieved a 38% growth in passenger numbers in the last three years, and the programme will aim to sustain and grow this patronage by providing better facilities and improved integration with other travel modes, such as walking and cycling.

National and regional NLTP documents, Q&As and other information is available on the NZTA 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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