Rotorua’s turn for some election pork

Rotorua’s “traffic jams” that take people like five to ten minutes longer to get from A to B will be solved with another “nationally significant” roading bribe project.

A re-elected National Government will four-lane Te Ngae Road between Rotorua City and the airport, Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says.

“National is committed to delivering the infrastructure our regions need to support our growing country. That’s why we are accelerating the delivery of this critical transport project for Rotorua,” Mr Bridges says.

“National will start construction on this project in the next term of Government.”

Te Ngae Road (along State Highway 30) links Rotorua with the city’s airport and serves both local and inter-regional traffic, connecting Rotorua to the Western Bay of Plenty, including the Port of Tauranga, and Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Rotorua has experienced strong economic growth in recent years, growing 3.9 per cent in 2016, above the national average.

“As more people and businesses choose to be in Rotorua and its surrounding districts, National wants to ensure the city’s infrastructure provides for and supports future growth,” Mr Bridges says.

“Te Ngae Road supports a growing number of tourists travelling to Rotorua and growth in the region’s primary industries, making it increasingly important to connect people and products to key domestic and international markets.

“This key transport route is playing an increasingly important part in unlocking the city’s future growth.

“We recognise the need to meet anticipated residential and commercial growth, as well as increased traffic freight volumes and the need to provide certainty for local government and developers.

“National wants to get ahead of forecast growth now and stop congestion becoming a handbrake on the city.”

It is estimated that extending the programme of work to Rotorua Airport, including four-laning, will cost $75 to $100 million. Funding for the project will be met from the National Land Transport Fund and the budget capital allowance.

“The project will be added to National’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme, which is an important part of our plan to support our growing regions. We know that when the regions do well, New Zealand does well,” Mr Bridges says.

Judging by other announcements of its type, work won’t even start during the government’s next term.

Kind of interesting there is no talk about running light rail down the middle of State Highway 30.  I wonder why that is?

CBD to Auckland airport apparently needs one, but in the regions rail isn’t the right way to go, and they’ll fund a four-lane high-speed highway instead.   Pretty much what the government already put into Auckland as well of course.

Rotorua is hardly crippled by this stretch of road.  Aucklanders would sell their first-born to be delayed by 5 minutes, 10 at the most.



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