$350m for Wellington buses and trains

BUS MONEY: A third of a billion will be spent on public transport in Wellington between 2012 and 2015.
BUS MONEY: A third of a billion will be spent on public transport in Wellington between 2012 and 2015.

Details of an ''unprecedented'' $1.25 billion investment in Wellington's transport network have been revealed, including almost $350 million for buses and trains.

The NZ Transport Agency announced its National Land Transport Programme for 2012-15 today, which represents a 12.3 billion investment in entire country over the next three years.

In the Wellington region, more than $400m will be spent on the Wellington northern corridor road of national significance, over a third of a billion will be spent on public transport, and over a quarter of a billion will go towards the day-to-day upkeep of the roading network.

The agency's regional director central, Jenny Chetwynd, said projects along the Wellington Northern Corridor, from the Airport to Levin, would be a strong focus for the next three years.

About $415m will be spent on projects that improve travel times, make journeys more reliable, and streamline the movement of freight to and from Centreport and the Airport, she said.

Projects in the area include the Kapiti Expressway, Transmission Gully, the Memorial Park underpass and a Basin Reserve flyover, which are all at various stages of design and development.

Chetwynd said the agency would investigate and design a Petone to Grenada link and develop options for the duplication of the Mount Victoria and Terrace Tunnels.

Another $348m will be invested on bus and train infrastructure and services in the region. The agency would spend millions purchasing 35 new Matangi trains as part of this, she said.

Benefits for pedestrians and cyclists are in the form of progressing a cycleway linking Petone to Ngauranga and a dedicated pathway on the Basin Reserve flyover.

Public transport funding in the Wellington region was now at unprecedented levels, Chetwynd said.

Investment of $226m on regional safety improvements will focus on the Mount Victoria and Terrace Tunnels and Wellington's regional safety retrofit programme.

The were 12 deaths on roads in the Wellington region last year and 159 serious injuries.

The funding package also includes $260m for the operation, maintenance and renewal of the Wellington roading network, including $184m on local roads and $76m on state highways.

Contact Michael Forbes
Transport and metro reporter
Email: michael.forbes@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @michael_forbes

The Dominion Post