The Government’s Transport Agency has this afternoon announced that the Super City – with about one third of the country’s population – will receive $4.2 billion for state highways, local roads, public transport, walking, cycling and road policing.
About $3 billion – or just over 71 per cent – of that will be Government money from fuel taxes paid into the National Land Transport Fund, leaving Auckland Council to pay the remaining $1.2b.
That does not include projects outside the land transport programme for which the council is allocating Auckland Transport an additional $1 billion, including for the City Rail Link.
Aucklanders will also contribute $520m of “external revenue” such as parking fees and fines, and public transport fares.
Their city’s share of the overall “partnership” pot from the national programme will include $1.175 billion for public transport, $960 million to maintain highways and local roads, and $91 million to improve cycling and walking.
That is additional to $24.75m the Government said last week it would contribute to Auckland from its $100m urban cycleways fund.
Today’s transport announcement opens the way for early starts on a $1 billion package of road freight connections between the Southern and Southwestern motorways, and also commits funds for the first time to design an extension of the Northern Busway, from Constellation Drive to Albany.
It includes $48m to continue preparations for a $760m motorway extension to Warkworth, which the Government hopes will be built as a public private partnership from late next year.
The transport programme has allocated $268m to widen the Southern Motorway beyond Manukau, and has increased the budget to complete the Waterview Connection and related projects along the Northwestern Motorway on Auckland’s long-awaited western ring route from $2b to $2.27b.
The national allocation represents a 15 per cent increase in land transport funding from previous 2012-15 programme.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the $13.9b programme represents the largest ever spend on land transport, and will deliver on Government priorities of increasing economic growth and productivity, improving safety, strengthening regional transport networks, lifting investment in public transport and cycling, and ensuring value for money.
The Government’s share of the national programme amounts to $10.5 billion.
Roads will account for $10.3b of the programme.
That comprises $6.3b for state highways which are fully Government-funded and $4b for local roads, about half of which are financed by councils and their ratepayers.
Almost $2b has been earmarked for public transport nationally, a 21 per cent increase, and investment in cycling will more than triple – to $251m.
But the Green Party says the programme is focussed too heavily on “carbon-polluting transport infrastructure, rather than building a clean, balanced and efficient system for the 21st Century.”
Transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter said National had chosen to continue spending more than $1b a year “on a few carbon-polluting motorways that haven’t even passed a business test.”
She commended the increase in money for urban clearways, but criticised the Government’s “foolish and unjustified policy of not funding rail infrastructure from the National Land Transport Fund, even though rail is obviously a form of land transport.”
Regional allocations for the coming three years:
Allocation to other regions for the coming three years include:
- Auckland – $4.223b
- Northland – $460m
- Waikato – $1.812b
- Bay of Plenty – $591m
- Wellington – $1.439b
- Hawkes Bay – $245m
- Taranaki – $187m
- Manawatu-Whanganui – $450m
- Gisborne – $120m
- Greater Christchurch – $1.575b
- Canterbury (outside Christchurch), Otago, Southland and West Coast – $977m
- Upper South Island – $221m
- NZ Herald
- Photos: Brett Phibbs