The Government will invest more than $73 million on Bay of Plenty, and Waikato's, most dangerous roads as part of its commitment to reducing New Zealand's road roll, Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced today.

The Government announced the $600 million Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme which would see safety improvements made on more than 90 high-risk sites on rural State Highways in 14 regions. It includes nearly all high risk roads where there have been five or more fatalities in the last five years.

"Up to $100 million will be invested annually in the programme over six years - $60 million more than is usually invested in road safety improvements.

"This includes $73.9 million for roads identified as high risk in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions," Mr Bridges says.

"It's forecast that the nationwide programme of roading improvements will result in 900 fewer deaths and serious injuries on our roads over the next ten years.

"It's a significant step up in road safety investment by the Government and reinforces our commitment to reducing death and serious injury crashes on New Zealand roads," Mr Bridges says.

The safety upgrades will target causes of crashes by including a mix of road improvements, realignment of corners in some areas to improve visibility, side barriers, median barriers, rumble strips, wide centrelines, road marking and improved signage.

"I'd like to acknowledge the local National MPs who have been pushing hard for safety improvements to these dangerous stretches of road."

Road safety projects planned for Bay of Plenty are:


· SH2: Paeroa to Waihi. Project investigation will start in 2016/17.

· SH2: Athenree to Katikati. Project investigation will start in 2016/17.

· SH2: Corridor improvements. Project investigation will start in 2016/17.

· SH29: Tauriko to Waikato Boundary. Project investigation will start in 2016/17.

· SH29: BOP boundary to SH24. Project investigation will start in 2015/16.