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Looking back at the 2012–15 National Land Transport Programme

Drafting of this look back precedes the preparation, audit and publication of the Transport Agency’s financial report for 2014/15. The expenditures in this section are based on a forecast for 2014/15 and will be updated once the annual report figures are published.

Overall highlights 2012–15

Total NLTF expenditureView a larger version [JPG, 82 KB]

Total expenditure from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) is forecast to be $103 million (about 1%) below the budget set at the beginning of the NLTP. Revenue received during the NLTP was a little lower than planned and overall expenditure has reduced as a consequence.

Key highlights included:

  • continued delivery of the roads of national significance (RONS) with substantial progress made on the Western Ring Route Completion package in Auckland, Waikato Expressway, Tauranga Eastern Link, Wellington Northern Corridor and Christchurch Motorways
  • growth in the use of public transport with boardings up 7.6% from 385 million in the 2009-12 NLTP to a forecast 415 million in 2012-15
  • ongoing recovery of Christchurch city’s earthquake damaged transport network
  • some improvement in road safety performance, although the increase in 2015 fatalities to date is a hopefully short-term, reversal of the trend over recent years – deaths and serious injuries were down 9% from an average of 2,491 per year in 2009–11 to an average of 2,260 for the two years of 2012-13
  • progress made to implement the Roading Efficiency Group initiatives to obtain better value for money in road maintenance, including development of the One Network Road Classification framework
  • the announcement by Government of additional funding, via loans and appropriations, for accelerating Auckland and regional road projects, and urban cycleway projects – this funding augments the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF)
  • a major review of the Transport Agency’s Funding Assistance Rate policy, which provides a more robust base for setting of rates from 2015/16.

Activity highlights 2012–15

Maintenance operationsView a larger version [JPG, 79 KB]

NLTF expenditure on maintaining, operating and renewing the road network is forecast to be $71 million (2.2%) below budget. Emergency works, required to respond to weather and earthquake events, are forecast to be $11 million down on the amount budgeted at the start of the 2012–15 NLTP. The balance of the variance ($60 million) is largely the result of lower expenditure in road renewals for local roads and state highways alike. This is mostly due to optimising the timing of the renewals, deferring those not needed straightaway, which is best value for money.

The significant reduction in oil prices in 2014/15 has also played a part in lower contract rates toward the end of the 2012–15 NLTP.

New & improved roading, walking & cyclingView a larger version [JPG, 93 KB]

Spending from the NLTF on roading and walking and cycling infrastructure is forecast at $76 million (1.9%) up on the NLTP budget. Of this, walking and cycling expenditure is forecast to be up $2 million on budget, with the Government announcement on funding for the Urban Cycleway Programme lifting investment in 2014/15.

Local road investment is forecast down $74 million (14.4%) on budget, as local authorities pulled back spending on road improvements to focus on other priorities, such as water infrastructure, and/or due to constraints on rating revenue and debt.

State highway investment has increased to pick up the funds freed up from lower local road improvement spending and lower spending in other activity classes. The NLTF spend is up $149 million (4.4%) in this activity class, which has helped progress a range of improvement projects through the country.

A wide range of projects have been under construction during the 2012–15 NLTP, including:

  • Construction of Christchurch City Council’s Bus interchange – aimed at improving economic growth and productivity as part of the central city recovery and to provide public transport as a viable travel choice.
  • Hawke's Bay walking and cycling projects – delivered during 2012–15 mostly linked to the Hastings Model Communities initiative, aimed at providing travel choice and safety, with the improvement of health a further outcome.
  • Auckland Integrated Fare Solution Programme – a public transport initiative to implement an automated fare collection system solution for rail, bus and ferry services in the Auckland region to simplify the use of public transport and improve its position as a travel choice
  • Tauranga Eastern Link on State Highway 2 – investment supporting economic growth and productivity by improving journey reliability on a significant freight route and reducing travel times in a strong growth area.
  • Auckland Transport’s AMETI programme – a programme of road and busway improvements in south-east Auckland supporting economic growth and productivity by improving journey reliability, easing severe congestion and providing better travel choices.
  • Hamilton Ring Road – continued investment in the ring road project through eastern Hamilton, with the final link to State Highway 1 to be completed in 2015–18, to optimise network capacity, reduce congestion and provide network resilience.
  • Wellington City Council’s Tawa walkway alongside Porirua Stream – to provide travel choice in a congested network and improve travel time reliability
  • Western Ring Route completion in Auckland – provides missing link joining State Highways 20 and 16 through Waterview Connection and improving the State Highway 16 connection between the western suburbs and the CBD – it supports economic growth and productivity by reducing travel times, improving journey reliability and easing severe congestion – it also provides improved network resilience.
  • Replacement of the Waitaki bridges on State Highway 82 in Canterbury – to provide a resilient crossing of the Waitaki River as well as improve travel time efficiency with two lane bridges replacing the failing single lane structures.
  • State Highway 3 Vickers Road to City upgrade project in Taranaki – the aim of the project is to improve journey time reliability and safety on the northern entrance to New Plymouth.
  • Completion of Stage 1 of the State Highway 1 Caversham Highway Improvements project in Dunedin – the project targets journey time reliability and safety.
  • Wellington City Council’s Johnsonville Triangle Roading Improvements – to relieve congestion and improve journey time reliability – it integrates with land use for the northern growth area and with the State Highway 1 Wellington Motorway
  • Construction of the Wainui Cycleway on State Highway 35 in Gisborne – provides journey time reliability for cyclists and links to the Gisborne Cycling Strategy.

Other activitiesView larger version [JPG, 98 KB]

System development and management spend is forecast to be down $7 million (4.8%) on budget, with lower than planned applications for funding made in Transport Planning and Sector Research.

Road policing and road safety promotion expenditure from the NLTF is forecast to be $13 million (1.3%) down on budget, with slower than planned rollout of new speed cameras and underspending in road safety promotion. Local authorities, in particular, have not spent all of their approved allocations.

NLTF expenditure in public transport is forecast to be down $89 million (9.4%) on budget. Public transport services account for $59 million of the underspend, which reflects improved efficiencies, for example the Matangi electric train units in Wellington have much lower maintenance costs than the old Ganz-Maveg units, and oil prices are lower than forecast. The balance of $30 million comes from an underspend in public transport infrastructure, with delivery of projects in Auckland and Wellington behind plan.

2012–15 NLTP at a glance

The National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) for 2012-15 contained all the land transport activities, such as public transport services and road construction and maintenance, that the Transport Agency anticipated funding between 2012-15

NLTP 2012–15 focused on four themes:

  • ensuring value for money
  • supporting economic growth and productivity
  • improving safety
  • providing a range of travel choices.

Find out more about the 2012–15 NLTP