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Published: 2006-06-29 00:00:00

Transit's 10-year state highway forecast is very positive news for the Waikato region, says Regional Land Transport Committee chairman, Cr Angus Macdonald.

"I am very pleased to see that Transit's road building forecast is very much aligned with the priorities proposed in the draft Waikato Regional Land Transport Strategy," he said.

"The key projects that we wanted to get up and running have all been recognised in Transit’s state highway forecast and Land Transport New Zealand's proposed funding programme. So, apart from discussion on start dates for the Maramarua deviation and Cambridge bypass , basically it is now all systems go for the region.”

"The Transit work programme now means there is much more certainty for the Waikato community that the projects within the five-year timeframe will be built."

Mr Macdonald noted that the Transit forecasts had provided for the following work:

Construction commenced in the 2006/07 year

  • Mangatawhiri deviation ($45.3 million already committed to construction)
  • Church Road to Avalon four-lane project
  • Avalon Drive bypass.

Investigation work undertaken in the 2006/07 year

  • Hamilton southern links
  • Rangiriri bypass.

Design work undertaken in the 2006/07 year

  • Ngaruawahia bypass
  • Cambridge bypass
  • East Taupo arterial
  • Kopu Bridge.

Construction work commenced in the two-five year period

  • East Taupo arterial
  • Kopu Bridge
  • Piarere to Oak Tree Bend (between Karapiro-Tirau)
  • Te Rapa bypass
  • Maramarua deviation
  • Rangiriri bypass.

Cr Macdonald noted that Transit had brought the Maramarua project forward slightly, and put the Cambridge bypass back, which differed slightly from the proposals in the draft Regional Land Transport strategy.

"This is an issue which we will enter into discussions with Transit on. However, overall there is very good alignment with the priorities of the draft Regional Land Transport Strategy which is due to be considered by the Regional Land Transport Committee on 3 July. "

Funding boost for passenger transport

In another media release last night, Land Transport New Zealand announced a $2 million funding boost for passenger transport in the Waikato.

Environment Waikato's Group Manager Regional Services, Warren Stevens said the $2 million will contribute towards increased services in the following sectors:

  • The new Orbiter bus service, which will travel in a circular route around Hamilton city, thereby allowing people to travel more easily from suburb to suburb, rather than having to come in to the transport centre if they wish to travel across the city. The service will now be commencing operation on 17 July.
  • Improvements to a range of Hamilton bus routes, including new express routes across the city.
  • Additional bus services linking Cambridge with Hamilton, and Te Awamutu with Hamilton.
  • Expansion of the Total Mobility system to other parts of the region.
  • Extension of the Real Time network, which lets Hamilton passengers know more accurately when their bus is coming.
  • Funding for new bus shelters, seats, signage and additional transport hubs.

Land Transport New Zealand contributes 50 per cent (after fare revenue) towards passenger transport services which the region wishes to run, with the remainder coming from targeted rates raised by the areas which benefit from the services.

The Land Transport New Zealand funding announcement does not relate to rail passenger services in the region, as these still awaiting the outcome of a current feasibility study.