The 2018 update to the Waikato Regional Land Transport Plan 2015-2045, adopted by Waikato Regional Council yesterday, will see the Waikato Expressway completed to Cambridge – the region’s long standing top transport priority.
The plan forecasts spending of almost $5.7 billion over the next 10 years for transport projects in the Waikato region. Of this, $4.7 billion comes from the National Land Transport Programme and the remainder from rates.
Waikato regional councillor and regional transport committee chair Hugh Vercoe says the number one priority in the plan is construction of the expressway from Cambridge to the Piarere State Highway 1/29 intersection.
“Hopefully there’ll be funding made available for this in the near future, because it has significant national and regional safety and access benefits. These are both a regional and national priority under the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport,” said Cr Vercoe.
The plan’s review was overseen by the Waikato Regional Transport Committee, which comprises elected members from Waikato’s regional and local councils and representatives from the NZ Transport Agency and NZ Police. The review was required by the Land Transport Management Act 2003.
“The new plan has reconfirmed that the main issues and problems of the Waikato region’s land transport system are protecting the function of our strategic corridors, road safety and access to the transport system,” said Cr Vercoe.
“It confirms the strategic direction for land transport in the Waikato region and what we are seeking to achieve – an efficient, effective and safe land transport system.”
The plan contains two key components:
Other priorities of the plan include starting work on the Southern Links project south of Hamilton, improvements to SH29, progressing a start-up rail service between Hamilton and Auckland, planning and implementing speed management across the region, growing public transport, improving access for the transport disadvantaged and planning and growing cycle and pedestrian networks.
“This review has been a real collaborative effort,” said Cr Vercoe.
“Key transport partners have been actively engaged throughout the review process and the RLTP is well supported by key stakeholders.”
Consultation on the review received 35 submissions, including from individuals, local and central government and industry.