Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Roads of National Significance programme to be reinstated

The Coalition Government will re-introduce the Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme, with funding for 15 new projects flagged to support regional development across New Zealand, Transport Minister, Simeon Brown announced today.

The Minister said the Government’s priority for investment in the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport is to support economic growth and productivity and ensure New Zealand’s land transport system allows people and freight to move quickly and safely.

“Investments in these essential corridors will make it easier for New Zealanders to get where they need to go, create a more productive and resilient transport network, drive economic growth, and unlock land for thousands of new houses,” said Mr Brown.

“The RoNS projects previously built by National are some of New Zealand’s most successful State Highway corridors, reducing congestion and improving safety. Independent analysis has found the construction of eight new bypasses, between January 2009 and December 2016, resulted in up to a 37% reduction in deaths and serious injuries across those roads.”

All RoNS will be four-laned, grade-separated highways, and all funding, financing, and delivery options should be considered to deliver them in stages as quickly as possible, said the Minister.

“Legislation is already underway to provide fast-track consenting approvals. We expect this to support major transport projects within the GPS, like the RoNS. This will provide immediate confidence to the construction sector to invest in capability and equipment needed to deliver projects,” he said.

“The use of alternative revenue, funding, and delivery models will also support delivery of the RoNS. This includes Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), increased use of tolling, ‘Build, Own, Operate, Transfer’ equity finance schemes, and value capture, to generate additional revenue and deliver infrastructure in a more efficient manner.

“Building a new generation of Roads of National Significance signals our focus on prioritising investments that deliver real value to commuters and businesses, ensuring our cities and regions are well-connected and our economy thrives.

“I invite local government, the transport sector, community groups, and the wider public to have their say on the draft GPS. Projects and funding commitments will be confirmed through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) later this year.”

The draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) document is available at www.transport.govt.nz.

Consultation closes on 2 April 2024.

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