Government reveals which councils will receive multi-million dollar funding to improve transport

The package includes more than 240km of cycleways and 11 new bus prioritisation lanes.
The package includes more than 240km of cycleways and 11 new bus prioritisation lanes. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Government has announced which councils are receiving a share of the multi-million dollar fund to create better transport choices for New Zealanders.

Forty-six councils across Aotearoa New Zealand, from large metro centres to small provincial towns, will receive funding to implement more transport options for communities, as part of the Transport Choices package 2022-24, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced on Sunday.

The package includes:

  • 397 new or upgraded bus stops to improve Kiwi's access to public transport
  • 242kms of cycleways to encourage uptake of cycling
  • 119 schools improvements to keep children safe
  • 29 more walkable neighbourhoods
  • 11 new bus prioritisation lanes will make public transport faster

Wood said the $350 million Transport Choices package aims to provide people in communities across Aotearoa with a wider range of efficient, cost-effective and sustainable transport options.

"The Government is upgrading New Zealand's transport infrastructure system to make it safer, greener and more efficient for now and future generations to come," Wood said in a statement.

Additional bus stops, bus prioritisation lanes, new cycleways, improvements to transport infrastructure around schools and improved walking access for neighbourhoods will be funded by the package.

Wood said it will also help the Government meet emission reduction targets as well as address the current infrastructure deficit and meet future needs caused by population growth.

"It's just one initiative within our decarbonisation plan that will enable people across the country to directly help fight climate change. Emissions are not just an urban issue; we’re all going to have to work together to create a better future."

Local councils that secured the new funding have welcomed the decision.

"It's fantastic to see our transport strategy and our climate change strategy align with the overall direction in which New Zealand is heading, and we’re very proud to be leaders in this space," Hamilton Deputy Mayor Angela O'Leary said.

"Like other major cities, Lower Hutt is facing some big transport challenges: congestion, a growing population, and the impacts of climate change. This funding will enable us to progress critical work to create safer, healthier, more sustainable and more accessible alternatives for residents to move around Lower Hutt," said Hutt City Mayor Campbell Barry.

"This will really help us get the ball rolling on some great projects which will provide more transport choices for our residents, particularly in the Linwood area," Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger said.

The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi will now work with successful councils in a two-stage process. The first stage is to further refine and scope their project proposals, with construction beginning on some projects by June 2023.

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