Positive signals for future funding of Ashburton roads

1/06/2018 3:00 p.m.

An important roading programme and increased road maintenance budget may still be on the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA’s) agenda for the Ashburton district.

Proposals suggesting the Tinwald Corridor Improvements and Ashburton District Council’s funding request to maintain the district’s roads now look likely to be approved in regional plans. The Council is also preparing for the possibility that footpaths may be eligible for a government subsidy.

NZTA did not initially include the Tinwald Corridor Improvements in its latest draft investment proposal.  However, recommendations tabled at the Canterbury Regional Transport Committee meeting on 24 May indicate that the programme is included in the Regional Land Transport Plan, which will be considered by the Transport Agency Board for inclusion in the National Land Transport Plan.

Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel says, “Things are looking a whole lot brighter than they were a couple of weeks ago.  We still need to wait for the Regional Land Transport Plan to be adopted in August but the indications are incredibly positive.”

There are also positive signs that the Council will receive almost all of the $14 million it had requested from NZTA to complete a co-funded work programme over the 2018-21 period for maintaining Ashburton’s roads. The request was $3 million more than was asked for in the 2015-18 period, as this was what the Council projected it would need to maintain the current levels of service for road maintenance.

The Council had applied for the funding as part of its preparations for the draft Long-Term Plan 2018-28 but there has been some uncertainty over the final amount that NZTA would provide.

​While the Council now has a higher level of certainty that it will receive the funds it requires, the final decision will not be known until August.

Page reviewed: 01 Jun 2018 4:44pm