Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has today announced a $447 million investment in transport for Taranaki.
The money will cover improvements to the Mt Messenger Bypass and other significant improvements on State Highway 3, between Waitara and Bell Block and New Plymouth and Hāwera, to improve the safety, reliability and resilience of the key route.
More than $300,000 will be spent extending the cycleway and creating a safe crossing point on State Highway 45 in Spotswood, particularly for students accessing the local school, and $9m on the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, providing 13.2km of shared path from Port Taranaki to the eastern side of Bell Block Beach.
The investment in Taranaki is part of a $24.3 billion programme of investment planned for New Zealand's land transport system over the next three years, detailed in Ngā Kaupapa Huarahi o Aotearoa 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) – www.nzta.govt.nz/nltp
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The NLTP comprises $15.6b from the National Land Transport Fund, generated through fuel excise, road user charges and other revenue sources; $4.6b from local government, generated through rates; and $3.8b in other Crown investments.
Waka Kotahi director regional relationships, Linda Stewart, says the $447m investment planned for Taranaki over the next three years marks an increase of 48 per cent from the previous 2018-21 NLTP.
"Improving people's safety is a top priority for Waka Kotahi and we'll be investing $94m across Taranaki during this NLTP to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads."
She says heavy vehicles travel more than 75 million kilometres on the region's roads each year to transport goods to market.
"Recognising the importance of safe, well maintained roads to Taranaki's economy, more than $166i will be invested in maintaining the region's local roads and state highways. Supporting more environmentally-friendly and healthier travel options is also a focus of this NLTP. $13m will be invested in public transport and $18m on walking and cycling projects around the region to provide travel choice."