Rural roads get cash injection

Last updated 05:00 25/02/2014
Matakana Rd
WRIGHT RD: The Matakana gravel road is on the list at 22 out of 645 unsealed roads. Rodney Local Board member Greg Sayers, centre, discusses the seal situation with Wright Rd residents Geert and Lieve Keyaerts.

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Rural roads are getting a cash injection to extend sealed sections.

But the money, 1 per cent of Auckland Transport's budget, is not nearly enough, the Rodney Local Board says.

Auckland Transport has allocated $14 million to extend seal on several roads in Auckland, the majority to be spent in Rodney over the next 10 years.

Work on Matakana Valley Rd will start later this year. Other roads include Takatu Rd, Monowai Rd, Silver Hill Rd and Wellsford Valley Rd. All are in northern Rodney.

But they are among just five of the 27 roads in the area listed on Auckland Transport's 2013/2014 seal extension high priority list and 1.2 per cent of the 408 roads in Rodney that have unsealed sections.

"Although this is a win for Rodney ratepayers it is nowhere near enough to seal the majority of roads," Rodney Local Board member Greg Sayers says.

The board is pleased with the news but believes a further $270 million for additional sealing should be allocated in Rodney.

There are 863 kilometres of unsealed roads in the super-city, 78 per cent of which are in Rodney, yet Auckland Transport plans to seal only 20 km within it over the next 10 years, Mr Sayers says.

This leaves 650 km of Rodney roads still unsealed, he says.

"It would be good to see more of Auckland Transport's $1.4 billion a year budget spent on bringing other Rodney roads up to scratch."

This is a benefit rural ratepayers are expecting from the super-city, he says.

In Seal Extension Guidelines, published by Auckland Transport, additional sealing is only possible providing local boards or the Auckland Council allocate funding.

The Auckland region has 646 unsealed roads, about 10 per cent of the total Auckland road network, which would cost $350 million to seal.

Central government is unwilling to subsidise any of Auckland's road sealing via the NZ Transport Agency funding grants, Mr Sayers says.

In determining which roads will be sealed first, Auckland Transport considers a variety of factors. These include the number of dwellings that may benefit from the sealing, the amenities that are in close proximity, and road safety.

See aucklandtransport. govt.nz for information.

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- Rodney Times

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