Today’s release of the National Land Transport Programme confirms the cuts this Government has made to vital regional highway projects up and down the country, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.
“Transport Minister Phil Twyford has had to develop a programme that has seen a $5 billion cut in highway funding and billions in new funding and taxes for trams in Auckland.
“Where funding for regional highways has been kept in place it is to continue National’s major projects like the Puhoi to Warkworth link.
“National committed to major investment across New Zealand’s regions to fund much needed highway projects that would have dramatically reduced road harm, boosted growth, created jobs and provided economic opportunities.
“Mr Twyford makes a big deal about the ‘record investment’ that will help grow the regions, but he’s allocated the largest chunk to the cherry-picked project of Dominion Road.
“This doesn’t help regions like the Bay of Plenty and Northland suffering from dangerous roads and congestion.
“And it means much needed highway projects like the Tauranga Northern Link and the Whangarei to Wellsford Expressway have been axed.
“Mr Twyford argues the Government is making safety a priority – but the best thing the Government could do to enhance safety on our most dangerous roads is to continue with the Roads of National Significance programme which is resulting in some of our safest roads.
“Unfortunately, the regions will have to wait while central city trams are prioritised.”