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General

  •   What is the Transmission Gully project?

    The Transmission Gully project is a project to build a 27 kilometre four-lane (a minimum of two in each direction) motorway from Mackays Crossing to Linden (through Transmission Gully). There will be interchanges connecting the route to State Highway 58 and Kenepuru with a connection to Porirua CBD. In addition, there will be two link roads from the eastern Porirua suburbs of Whitby and Waitangirua to the route. The Porirua City Council is the Road Controlling Authority responsible for these link roads. The project entails extensive protection or relocation of utilities including the complete removal of transmission towers by Transpower from the northern section.

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  •   Why build the Transmission Gully motorway?

    The Transmission Gully project will provide:

    • A safer road and a four-lane route with central median barrier and additional crawler lanes on the steeper sections.
    • Reduced likelihood of landslides, floods and damage to the motorway from a major storm or earthquake.
    • Quicker reinstatement than the existing State Highway 1 in the event of a major earthquake.
    • Peak period travel time savings estimated at around 10 minutes per vehicle for Kāpiti to/from Wellington, 15 minutes Kāpiti to/from the Hutt Valley, five to seven minutes Porirua to/from the Hutt Valley.
    • Easier access from State Highway 1 to Porirua and the Hutt Valley with shorter and more efficient freight movements to and from Seaview/Gracefield, Wingate and the Wairarapa.
    • Important arterial connections for residential and light commercial areas in eastern Porirua to the State Highway network through two new link roads.
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  •   How will the Wellington region benefit?

    The Transmission Gully route will:

    • Provide an alternative strategic link for the Wellington region, which will improve regional road network security.
    • Assist in remedying the safety concerns and projected capacity problems on the existing State Highway 1 by providing a safe and reliable route between Mackays Crossing and Linden in an environmentally responsive manner.
    • Assist in enabling wider economic development by providing a cost-optimised route that better provides for the through-movement of freight and people.
    • Assist in the integration of New Zealand's land transport system by enabling the existing State Highway 1 route to be developed into a safe multi-functional alternative to the Transmission Gully motorway.
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Tolling

  •   Will the Transmission Gully motorway be tolled?

    The Transport Agency has confirmed that Transmission Gully will not be a tolled road.

    Since March 2018, the Transport Agency has been assessing the feasibility of tolling Transmission Gully in accordance with its policy to assess all new state highway projects for tolling.

    The Transport Agency is pleased that its recommendations to the Minister of Transport have been endorsed and tolling will not proceed.

    Read the media release about the decision

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  •   What were the findings when the tolling assessment was completed?

    Our assessment identified that the potential revenue benefits were unlikely to make a meaningful contribution to the cost of the road. 

    It was also identified that implementing a toll would likely result in reduced road safety outcomes for road users and a high diversion rate onto the coastal route (the current State Highway 1), reducing the environmental, safety and access benefits of communities along that route.

    The Transport Agency also considered whether tolling could be used as a measure to reduce congestion on our roads by managing demand.

    The modelling around tolling and the reduction of congestion on the road indicated that tolling would be an ineffective mechanism to encourage mode shift and was more likely to encourage people to take their cars on the coastal route.

    Finally, the Transport Agency identified that while road pricing may be a valuable tool in the future for managing demand and reducing congestion, other work needs to occur first to ensure the public transport network is able to offer a competitive solution to personal vehicles.

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  •   What was different to tolling Transmission Gully in comparison to other currently tolled roads?

    Under Transport Agency policy (and reflecting the Land Transport Management Act 2003), a road may be tolled either for advancing the build of a road, or for contributing to the maintenance and operation of a road once built.

    The other toll roads in Tauranga (Tākitimu Drive and Tauranga Eastern Link) and Auckland (Northern Gateway) were all tolled in order to be able to build the roads sooner than would have been otherwise possible. Transmission Gully, however, was funded via a PPP agreement, meaning that if tolling were established the revenue collected would have been used to operate and maintain the road.

    Land Transport Management Act 2003(external link)

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  •   Why is it assumed that the diverted traffic will use the coastal route instead of public transport?

    Customer Insights work completed during the assessment suggested that most people would still choose to use their car but choose a different route to avoid paying the toll or begin to combine trips to reduce the amount of toll paid. This is because people generally feel their vehicle is more convenient, reliable and flexible than public transport. Additionally, there is limited available capacity in the available public transport.

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  •   Why can’t the coastal route be made safer?

    The coastal route could have minor changes to it, such as speed reduction, however the project benefits of Transmission Gully would still be reduced if tolled, as it would encourage continue use of the coastal route.

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  •   What is the social cost-shift?

    The social cost shift considers the possible estimated cost of traffic accidents to New Zealand, which may occur. The social cost shift is calculated based on the assumption that the diverted traffic will choose to use the coastal route (in its current state), and that this will decrease the expected safety benefits associated with Transmission Gully. Modelling and the social costs for traffic accidents calculated by the Ministry of Transport were used to estimate this figure.

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  •   Why haven’t we tolled for travel demand management?

    Under current legislation, road tolling must be considered for revenue collection purposes for the design, development, operation or maintenance of a road. Road tolling for purposes other than revenue collection are not currently enabled. Additionally, if tolling were utilised as a pricing mechanism to manage transport demand, this will result in increasing diversion rates to the coastal road as the price is increased.

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