Projects to improve safety around several schools in Auckland are being fast-tracked through a new streamlined funding process developed between the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport (AT).
The projects are part of AT’s Safety Around Schools initiative, which is primarily focused on 20 high risk schools located in Otahuhu, Mangere, Otara, and the eastern suburbs of Manukau from Howick to Botany Downs. They include the installation of pedestrian crossings and refugee islands, 40kph school zone speed limit signage, and cycle lanes.
Total cost of the projects is $4.5m. The Transport Agency is covering $2.4 million of the cost (53%), and AT the remainder.
In the past, both AT and the Transport Agency would review and approve funding applications. Under the streamlined process introduced earlier this year, AT can review and approve funding applications for projects under $5m using the Transport Agency’s funding criteria.
“It means that funding can be delivered more quickly than in the past,” says the Transport Agency Planning and Investment Manager Coralie O’Brien. “Helping improve safety for children around schools is a very positive example of how the simplified process works.”
AT’s Community and Road Safety Manager, Karen Hay, says the Safety Around Schools initiative also aims to reduce morning congestion by encouraging people to walk and cycle and use public transport as an alternative to the car.
“This is having a significant impact on congestion and pollution. Initiatives have reduced the number of cars delivering students to school by 12,000 during each morning rush hour. That equates to 2.4 million trips saved every year without even counting the trips saved in the afternoons.”
AT is also investigating further safety initiatives for schools in central Auckland, and in the west and north of the city.
One of the Transport Agency’s roles is to provide funds from its National Land Transport Programme to help councils and their organisations deliver a range of public transport, roading and cycling and walking projects for their communities.
Transport Agency funds are gathered from excise duties on fuel, road user charges and vehicle registration fees and re-invested in transport-related projects like AT’s Safety Around Schools initiative.
For more information contact:
Auckland/Northland Media Manager,
NZ Transport Agency
M: +64 27 2137616
M: +64 21 817995