Government invests $2M towards new road-rail hub in Ashburton
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Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown has welcomed a $2 million Government investment in the district’s new Fairfield Freight Hub, which will see the town’s rail container terminal move to Fairton.
Construction of the $14m hub project is expected to begin early next year and be completed by late 2022.
The Fairfield Freight Hub project is a joint initiative with the Ashburton District Council, Fairfield Freight Hub (part of the Wareing Group), and KiwiRail.
Transport Minister Michael Wood announced the $2m investment today.
Mayor Brown said it was exciting news for the district and a great example of people working together.
“Council has been keen for years to see the rail hub relocate from the centre of town and while I’ve personally been working on it for the past two and a half, there were others before me. It is long-awaited and welcome for our community.”
The project ensures an ongoing container terminal in the district, which will be good for businesses moving goods and help ease congestion on roads; there are plans to increase local rail freight from 6000 containers a year to 20,000.
"Increased local rail freight will result in reduced truck movements off our state highway one, and not having trains shunting in town will relieve congestion in Ashburton town intersections.
"The hub relocation will increase road safety on SH1 and through Ashburton township, and also reduce carbon emissions."
The new freight hub is near Council’s north-east Ashburton Business Estate.
Mayor Brown also added that Rangitata MP Jo Luxton had been instrumental in making this funding happen.
“There have been a lot of people who have worked on this and it is yet another project that will bring an economic boost for the district.”
Council will confirm its commitment to the project at a meeting on 20 October.
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