Board pushes back for more from new transport plan

Posted at 11:28am Monday 03 May, 2021

Rodney Local Board is pushing for more roading projects, renewals and maintenance to be included in Auckland Transport's (AT) draft Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP) for the next 10 years.

Members voted last month to lodge feedback on 20 separate issues, including the retention of $84.9 million for road sealing (now known as the Unsealed Roads Improvement Programme) that was allocated in the 2018 RLTP as a distinct item in the new programme.

Board chair Phelan Pirrie said there had been two budget lines in the 2018 RLTP, one for $84.9 million and one for $40 million, but only the $40 million remained in 2021.

“We want it put back in, even if it is unfunded, at least it's there in the programme,” he said.

Other board feedback included:

•    asking for funding to be allocated to the Sandspit link road, Western link road, wider Western link and southern motorway interchange, as described in the Supporting Growth Programme's Warkworth Indicative Strategic Transport Network;

•    supporting enough funding for AT to renew and maintain 12 per cent of Auckland's roading network each year to ensure safe, well-maintained roads;

•    supporting a proposed return to pre-Emergency Budget levels of funding for the Transport Capital Funds for local boards; 

•    requesting significantly more funding for footpaths, saying the proposed $49 million over 10 years would only have a minor impact in addressing the current shortage;

•    supporting the proposed investment in a number of major road safety programmes;

•    acknowledging the inclusion of money to improve the Hill Street intersection and requesting funding be allocated towards it;

•    suggesting that $51 million for park and ride facilities across the region was inadequate and that more funding should be allocated for such facilities to support growth, particularly in Rodney, which had the second-highest growth of all local boards;

•    supporting walking, cycling and public transport connections for large infrastructure and development projects;

•    supporting funding for public transport provision for Warkworth, given its high growth rate, including bus lanes, bus routes and land for park and rides;

•    and supporting the inclusion of walking and cycling in the Matakana Road Safety Programme.

Phelan Pirrie said after the meeting that new figures from AT showed that there would a gradual increase in money over the next three years allocated to improving, strengthening and sealing more unsealed roads, up to around $26 million.

However, he maintained there could be much more funding available if there was more political support for the Auckland Mayor and what he saw as the inevitable five per cent rates increase proposed in the 10-year Budget.

“It's a dead rat, but we have to swallow it,” he said. “It's happening anyway, so why not back it. We want to get stuff done.”

Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers said at the Board meeting that he had met with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to push for RLTP funding increases, but declined to say whether he would be voting for the five per cent rates increase.

“I'm going to look at feedback to see what I'm going to support,” he said. “There are a lot of things other than unsealed roads that are being set.”


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