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This page relates to the 2015-18 NLTP only.

Introduction

This work category provides for the construction/implementation of low-cost/low-risk improvements to the transport system to a maximum total cost for approval per project of $300,000.

Note that from July 2017, the maximum cost per project has been increased to $1,000,000.

Examples of qualifying activities

Examples of qualifying activities include, but may not be limited to:

  • small, isolated geometric road and intersection improvements;
  • traffic calming measures;
  • lighting improvements for safety;
  • installation of new traffic signs and pavement  markings, or upgrading these to the current standard;
  • provision of guard-railing;
  • sight benching to improve visibility;
  • walking facilities that comply with the definition for Work category 451: Walking facilities;
  • cycling facilities that comply with the definition for Work category 452: Cycling facilities;
  • structures, culverts or stock access;
  • resilience improvements required to protect the serviceability of roads, road structures and eligible cycle facilities from damage and to minimise the threat of road closure arising from natural phenomena;
  • formation for new access or ‘trailer parks’;
  • minor engineering works associated with community programmes, and;
  • property and professional services  costs associated with the Minor Improvement.

Other potential activities that are not in the above list should be discussed with the Transport Agency for eligibility.

Funding is subject to the conditions set out below.

Exclusions

Exclusions include:

  • any improvement project with an estimated total cost for approval (after deducting third party/supplementary funding from the total cost) of over $300,000 – these must be developed as individual improvements projects under the appropriate work category.
  • for Approved Organisations, rail level crossing warning devices improvements, regardless of the cost.  As these are funded at 100% FAR, they should be submitted as a separate activity under work category 321: New traffic management facilities.

Development of minor improvements programmes

Minor improvements programmes are developed using the through the 'Minor improvements' module in Transport Investment Online(external link) (TIO).

General requirements for development of a Minor improvements programme are set out in the table below.

Sources of funding

Other than in very specific situations, Minor improvements programmes will be funded from the National land Transport Fund using nationally distributed (N) funds.

Safety audits

The Transport Agency requires that a safety audit procedure must be applied to the development of any improvement or renewal activity that involves vehicular traffic, and/or walking and/or cycling, proposed for funding assistance from the National Land Transport Fund. It does not apply to auditing of the existing network or specialist applications, such as traffic control at roadwork sites.

Safety audits must be undertaken at key stages of a project’s development (see section 6 of the Road safety audit procedures for projects(external link) (Transport Agency May 2013) for when to undertake a safety audit). The latest audit report and the project manager’s response to issues are to be attached to any Transport Investment Online funding application.

If the project manager considers there is justification for not conducting a safety audit at a particular stage, then they must complete an exemption declaration for that stage, keep it on file for audit purposes and attach it to any Transport Investment Online funding application.

Road safety audit procedures for projects (external link)(Transport Agency May 2013) provides guidance in relation to safety audits. It includes a sample completed audit form a sample completed exemption form and checklists.

 Cost estimation

Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency(state highways) are expected to provide robust cost estimates for their activities prepared by competent people. The cost estimation process should follow the principles set out in the Transport Agency’s Cost Estimation Manual, SM014(external link).

Consultation and engagement

Programme consultation is managed by the RTC when it consults on the RLTP. However, the need to take into account the views of affected communities under the LTMA, to give early and full consideration of alternative options, implies a need to consult or engage at the activity level in the course of activity development. This may also be required under other legislation, e.g. Resource Management Act.

Transport Agency decision conditions

The Transport Agency may apply conditions to any support, endorsement or approval that it may provide for a strategy, package, programme or activity. These will generally fall into one of two categories:

  • Condition precedent – means that the condition must be fulfilled before the support, endorsement or approval is put into effect. For a funding approval this will mean that no funding will be released until the condition is met.
  • Condition subsequent – means that the condition needs to be fulfilled by a specified time or event, but the decision can be put into effect. For a funding approval this will mean that funding can be released before the condition is met. Often, conditions subsequent will need to be fulfilled before the next funding application for an activity.

Conditions are recorded and managed through Transport Investment Online.

Assessment of minor improvements programmes

Minor improvements programmes proposed for funding from the National Land Transport Fund are assessed under the Transport Agency's  Assessment Framework. See Assessment of Minor Improvement Programmes .

Conditions of funding

Each Minor Improvements programme must be supported by a list of projects using the Transport Agency's template, as set out below.

If an Approved Organisation does put a project with an estimated total cost of over $300,000 forward as a Minor Improvement, the Transport Agency will only financially assist such a project to a cap of $300,000 and any amount over this cap will be treated as third party/supplementary funding, which the Approved Organisation must fund itself. For example, a project of $400,000 total cost will be assumed to have $100,000 third party/supplementary funding and the Transport Agency will assist funding only to the $300,000 total cost for approval maximum.

The $300,000 total cost for approval maximum includes professional services , property and construction/implementation costs.

A Minor Improvement project cost must not be split or claimed over multiple work categories and activity classes. It must be claimed only under Work Category 341.

A project must not be split into more than one Minor Improvement project to circumvent the $300,000 total cost for approval cap.

The total cost for approval of any multi-party funded Minor Improvement project must not exceed the $300,000 cap across all funding parties.

If the tender price for a planned minor improvement project means that its total cost exceeds the $300,000 limit, either it is withdrawn as a minor improvement and resubmitted as a stand-alone project in Transport Investment Online (this applies to all affected Transport Agency (state highway) projects) or it remains as a minor improvement and any amount over the limit will be treated as third party/supplementary funding, which the Approved Organisation must fund itself.

Where the actual outturn total cost for approval exceeds the tendered cost and exceeds the $300,000 limit, the project may remain as a minor improvement and receive funding assistance against all of the total cost for approval, provided the Transport Agency regional representative agrees that the reasons for the increased cost are justified and that the increase is reasonable.

Minor Improvements Template

The Transport Agency requires, as a condition precedent of funding, that each Minor Improvements programme is supported by a list of projects. The list is expected to be updated regularly and must be updated by 31 August of each year.  The Transport Agency template must be used for all proposed Minor Improvements programmes.  This template has been created in Excel 2007 and that the "Summary of Activities" worksheet will show #NAME? errors if opened in Excel 2003.

Template for upload into TIO.

Funding assistance rate

The usual funding assistance rate is:

End of year carryover

For end of year carryovers, Minor Improvements are considered to be programmes of work and treated according to the section on end of year carryovers.

Any unfinished project(s) within the Minor Improvements programme will need to be added to the following year's programme, with the remaining cost taken from the following year's allocation.

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