Our regions’ roads are coming under increasing pressure, particularly from heavy traffic and tourism. Funding has not kept up with need. Roads are poorly maintained and in need of upgrading.
The road toll in the regions has risen sharply in recent years – up 40% outside of Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury in the past three years.
Despite this, NZTA funding outside the three main centres has been effectively stagnant for nine years.
Important regional transport projects are struggling to gain funding because only $70-$140m a year is set aside for them in the current Government Policy Statement.
- make more funding available for transport projects of regional importance by doubling the funding range of $70-$140m to $140-$280m.
This funding will be available for transport projects outside major metropolitan areas which show a regional economic benefit. Projects will include upgrades of regional state highways or, in partnership with local government, significant regional roads.
Labour is keen to work with councils to co-fund projects that would otherwise be delayed or not be built at all.
All regions will be able to benefit from this additional investment. There will be a particular focus on improvements to fix accident black spots and reduce the road toll.