Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace welcomes today’s Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Transport, in particular the introduction of a targeted enhanced funding assistance rate (FAR) to enable local councils to bring forward high and very-high priority local projects, provided they meet certain criteria.
The new enhanced FARs will mean up to 50% more funding for locally-led projects relating to the safety of local roads, the effectiveness of public transport, walking and cycling improvements, network resilience and regional improvements.
Mayor Wallace is supportive of the direction that the Government Policy Statement takes, particularly its focus on road safety, walking and cycling, public transport and resilience.
“It’s great that the Government is showing its support for local transport. In Lower Hutt, we have some crucial roading projects needing big investment and support from the Government is critical to getting these over the line. It’s not just about roads either – Council is developing a network of cycleways and shared paths across the city and looking at ways to improve public transport connections.”
The new GPS also supports regional priorities such as tourism and freight, which recognises that an efficient local transport network has wide-reaching economic and social benefits.
“Efficient and effective local transport networks will benefit the whole regional economy and increase our regional resilience,” says Mayor Wallace.
In terms of what the new GPS means for Lower Hutt, Mayor Wallace says it’s too early to know exactly what local projects might be covered by the enhanced FAR, but that Lower Hutt has a number of important transport projects worthy of support.
“We’ll be looking closely at accessing the enhanced FAR to enable us to bring better transport outcomes for Lower Hutt, which will in turn benefit the whole region.”