Source: AA – AA gives national transport plan ‘nine out of ten’

The AA believes New Zealand’s transport network is in good shape for the next three years, following yesterday’s release of the 2015-18 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

The NLTP increases funding in land transport by 15% over the 2012-15 plan, with significant boosts to spending across all transport modes.

“This is a smart, balanced plan, which will do a great deal to support network performance, economic growth, and road safety,” said AA spokesman Barney Irvine.  “We give it a nine out of ten.”

The AA believes the NZ Transport Agency has done a good job of responding to increased demand for public transport and cycling, which are a particular priority in Auckland.  The total cycling allocation of around $350 million is a potential “game changer”, but delivering cycling projects will be a big challenge.

“It’s going to require excellent project management from the Transport Agency and councils, and a strong degree of community input,” Mr Irvine said.

The continued roll-out of the Roads of National Significance programme would have a transformational impact on the network over the next three years, while an increase to road maintenance – particularly for local roads – was also important.

However, the AA was surprised to see relatively few local road projects make it through the project proposal and evaluation process.

The AA also welcomed the increased investment in road safety (up by about 15% on 2012), and the increased allocation to road policing after a six-year freeze.

“The Police play a vital role in road safety, and are there for AA Members and the public when we need them most,” said Mr Irvine.  “So increased funding is timely.”

Finally, Mr Irvine said that the AA expected to see a relentless focus by the Transport Agency on value for money, to deliver the programme as efficiently as possible.

 

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.