Trains included in $3.4b road fund

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 15:19 29/08/2012
Auckland motorway
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax Media

DOLLAR DRIVE: Auckland transport projects will receive about $2.7 billion in funds over the next three years.

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Auckland will get about $3.4billion of the $12.3b spent on transport in the next three years and the Government has stressed that $890 million of it will be spent on public transport.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the new programme was the largest of its kind in New Zealand's history and would fund infrastructure and services such as state highway improvements and the Government's "roads of national significance".

The National Land Transport Plan says that Auckland, with the highest traffic flows, the greatest proportion of freight traffic and the most severe congestion in the country, is holding back "its contribution to the country's economic growth".

The new plan continues the Western Ring Route through Waterview, which includes a tunnel and connecting the western motorway system and the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI).

Both are already underway.

The public transport funding will include 57 electric trains, electrification and station upgrades.

It also calls for integrated public transport ticketing, but appears to have been written before last week's failure of the Snapper ticketing system in Auckland.

The report says in 2011 the Auckland region had 48 deaths and 350 serious injuries on its network which is high, but comparatively good against other regions when vehicle kilometres travelled are considered.

Dispute the major public works underway in east Auckland, AMETI has been little noticed.

Today's report says it is a 30-year, $1.5 billion strategy aimed at dealing with current traffic congestion, poor transport options and projected growth in a vital retail, commercial and residential area.

It includes improved rail facilities, a larger bus transport hub, and faster and more frequent bus services.

The report also outlines plans for heavy and long vehicles.

"Allowing trucks to carry more per trip could reduce the number of trips needed to cope with increasing freight volumes."

The plan also lists other regionally significant projects likely to be considered for funding between 2012 and 2018.

These are:

- remove strategic route pinch points eg southern motorway Hill Rd to Takinini

- upgrade regional arterials focusing on passenger transport and freight

- the City Rail Link

- Puhoi to Wellsford motorway connection planned with Puhoi to Warkworth constructed

- additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing (investigation)

- develop "single system" including Advanced Traffic Management Systems Stage V, signal Optimisation, ramp metering and freight priority lanes

- further development of cycleways along state highway corridors

- busway extension Albany to Hibiscus Coast (designation)

- South-west airport multi-modal corridor (early stages only)

- Southdown to Avondale rail corridor designated

- Botany to Manukau (investigation)

- Henderson to Albany (investigation)

- Red light camera installation

- Mill Road (regional arterial connection between Botany Downs and Papakura)

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