A land transport system programme worth $800m has been announced for the Bay of Plenty this afternoon.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) said the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) would work to improve the efficiency and safety of Bay of Plenty's roading network, maximise freight movements and reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads over the next three years.
The NLTP is a partnership between local authorities (who invest funding from ratepayers and propose activities and projects for funding) and the NZTA (which develops the programme and invests funds from road users through the NLTF - the National Land Transport Fund).
NZTA regional director Harry Wilson said the investment in the Bay of Plenty would also ensure the region's number one priority, the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL), stayed on track for completion in 2016.
"Approximately $300 million will go to the ongoing construction of the Tauranga Eastern Link, the Bay of Plenty region's Road of National Significance (RoNS)," Mr Wilson said.
Completion of the Tauranga Eastern Link would provide long-term benefits, reducing the length of the journey for freight and other road users in the region, he said.
The transport investment in the Bay of Plenty region is also part of an overall $6 billion investment in the Upper North Island (Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty combined).
The programme would also include:
- $265 million will be invested in maintenance, operations and renewals on the whole network, with $136 million of this on local roads - an increase of 5 per cent on investment in the 2009-12 period.
- Progression of improvement projects including the Maunganui-Girven Intersection, Hairini Link - Stage 4 and the Rotorua Eastern Arterial.
- Delivery of the Safer Journeys action plan as part of the development of the State Highway 2 North and State Highway 29 (on the eastern side of the Kaimais) safe system programmes.
- The NLTF will contribute approximately $15.5 million to the operation of the Bay of Plenty passenger transport network.
- Work to ensure a more secure and resilient transport network will include a particular focus on: the eastern Bay of Plenty sub-region and meeting the demands of heavy vehicles using the Port of Tauranga.