By David Hill, Local Democracy Reporter
Canterbury mayors are backing the call for a $10.8 billion investment in local transport infrastructure, but the government will need to help.
The Canterbury Regional Transport Committee has approved the draft Canterbury Regional Land Transport Plan for consultation.
The draft plan emphasised the proposed Woodend Bypass and a second Ashburton bridge as key projects. The projects would double transport investment in the region over the next decade if adopted.
Committee chairperson councillor Peter Scott said a $4.6b contribution from central government was needed to fund the projects.
The committee comprises the region's mayors, along with Environment Canterbury and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency representatives.
Waimakariri mayor Dan Gordon said the Woodend bypass, the replacement Skew Bridge in west Kaiapoi and an eastern Rangiora link road were key projects for his district.
''These are core infrastructure projects that are long overdue for a growth district like ours and ones we've been advocating strongly for over several years.
''We look forward to partnering with the new government on these and other roading projects.''
Hurunui mayor Marie Black and Kaikōura mayor Craig Mackle both said they backed the draft plan as the key projects would benefit the entire South Island.
''I have supported Dan on the Woodend Bypass because it has benefits for our district in quicker access to Christchurch,'' Black said.
''All of these projects show the benefits of working in collaboration with neighbouring mayors across the region.''
Scott, who also chairs Environment Canterbury, said the proposed step-up in funding would kick in from July 2024.
''This draft plan outlines how we'd like to invest in future transport solutions for Canterbury, while also providing ongoing stewardship to our existing transport network.
''A lot depends on the incoming government and whether they'll change the government policy statement for land transport, which includes provisions for a second Ashburton bridge and the Woodend Bypass.''
Transport budgets are made up of council funding, direct Crown funding, and the National Land Transport Fund, which includes road user charges and fuel taxes.
New Transport Minister Simeon Brown visited Woodend during the election campaign and indicated a National-led government would commit to building the Woodend Bypass and a second Ashburton bridge.
Other projects included Greater Christchurch public transport upgrades, the Conway River bridge upgrade in the Hurunui district and a proposed Rangiora western link road.
Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air