"No surprises, but there is concern."
That's top Bay transport official Stuart Crosby's lukewarm review of the Government's announcement yesterday that $665 million in transport funding will be allocated to the region over the next three years.
The millions were a share of the NZ Transport Agency's nationwide $16.9 billion 2018/21 National Land Transport Programme.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford called the investment forecast - up six per cent on last term - a "record" and said it included $235m for safety-related improvements.
Crosby, chairman of the regional transport committee, said that while walking, cycling and public transport appeared well catered for in the Bay of Plenty investment, the region's state highways were not.
"The investment doesn't match the language particularly with regard to growth and freight movements," he said.
"There is a lot to do between authorities to make sure the programme aligns to our needs, and at the moment I don't see that it does."
Part of the problem was a lack of certainty around proposed State Highway 2 upgrades, he said.
There was little new information in yesterday's announcement for State Highway 2 campaigners, who woke up to news of yet another (thankfully minor) crash on the stretch.
The agency was still re-evaluating the major projects previously planned for the corridor to see whether they were the most cost-effective ways of improving safety and access, with that work expected to take another three to four months.
That encompassed the Tauranga Northern Link, Katikati bypass and Omokoroa intersection.
Twyford reiterated that the Government had already agreed to spend $87 million over five years on safety improvements along 42km of the highway to Waihi, including median barriers that would reduce the risk of head-on crashes.
Western Bay of Plenty District mayor Garry Webber described the programme as a "non-announcement" and "bureaucratic nonsense" that provided "no comfort to our community whatsoever".
He said he was more unclear about the Government's plan for the highway at the end of the day than he was at the start, thanks to various "confusing" statements from the Government.
He said he raised his frustration with the continuing decision delays with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during her visit to Tauranga on Wednesday.
"This project has been analysed to death over the last 15 to 20 years, and the only thing that changes from analysis to analysis is the death rate goes up and the number of vehicles on the road per day goes up," Webber said.
"I am flabbergasted as to why we need another investigation.
"In the meantime, we need to keep the pressure on and make sure we don't let the Government and NZTA off the hook."
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless shared Webber's frustration with the delays and said the State Highway 2 projects were also critical to Tauranga.
BOP breakdown by activity class
Local road maintenance: $169.1 million
State highway improvements: $154.9 million
State highway maintenance $154.4 million
Local road improvements: $73.9 million
Public transport: $70.23 million
Regional improvements: $16.52 million
Walking and cycling improvements: $16.4 million
Road safety promotion: $6.56 million
Investment management (transport planning): $2.5 million
Road policing, transitional rail, rapid transport: $0