Media Release: 29 August 2012
NZ will benefit from strong transport investment
The AA has welcomed the transport funding plan announced today in the National Land Transport Programme 2012-15.
Over the next three years $12.28 billion is planned to be spent on land transport.
There will be $4.4b spent on new and improved roads, walking and cycling infrastructure; $4.8b on road maintenance and renewals; and $1.7b on public transport. $2.8b will be invested in road safety measures.
The NLTP will provide $4.1b investment in local road building and maintenance over its term as well as $5.1b for state highways.
The programme gives strong effect to the Government Policy Statement for transport and the AA sees it as strategic, targeted and balanced across the country and transport modes.
“The Government is delivering on its promise to create a more effective, efficient and safer transport system,” says AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon.
“These are challenging economic times but this ongoing investment in transport is going to pay dividends for all of New Zealand for generations to come. The strong focus on value for money investment is particularly pleasing.
“The better we can move people and the better we can move goods, the better off the country will be.”
While road safety investment has increased by 5%, the investment in low-cost road safety improvements is not as high as the AA would have liked.
“We will continue to call for $150m more each year to be spent on improving the safety of our existing roads. More investment in proven life-savers like median barriers and rumble strip could be reducing our road toll right now. We need to spend more on these improvements to stop people being killed and hurt needlessly.”
A significant part of this NLTP will be the Christchurch transport rebuild and several major roading projects around New Zealand’s key economic centres. The Western Ring Route in Auckland, the Waikato Expressway, the Tauranga Eastern Link and the Wellington Northern Corridor will all receive significant investments.
“These roads carry some of the highest volumes of people and freight in the country and they are gateway routes to opening up greater opportunities for businesses and economic growth,” says Mr Noon.
“The investment will also make our busiest routes our safest.”
“The AA supports the goals behind the NLTP, which is about having a transport system that unlocks our economic potential, delivers value for money, is safer to use and seeks to give people travel choices.”
The majority of the funds for the NLTP come from motorists, with $4.9b from fuel excise tax, $3.7b from Road User Charges (RUC), $510m from vehicle registration and licence fees as well as $2.6b through rates.
“New Zealand motorists are fortunate that all the fuel tax, RUC and licensing fees they pay actually go towards making our roads better and safer as well as supporting public transport.
“It is fair for this tax money to be spent on the purposes for which the tax is levied.”