Greater Wellington praises Government’s “far-sighted” infrastructure investment
Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter has warmly welcomed today’s Government announcement on infrastructure funding, saying it removes any lingering doubts over the future of RiverLink, Wairarapa rail upgrades and new rolling stock for the Capital Connection.
“We’ve been waiting for certainty on the future of these projects, and now we have it,” says Cr Ponter.
“Crucial transport access elements of RiverLink, a new Melling intersection, road and cycle bridges, will now go ahead thanks to government funding of $420 million enabling construction to start in 2023.
“It is great news and we will redouble our efforts to deliver the promised access, urban renewal and flood protection benefits of RiverLink.”
Improvements at the Melling intersection ensure several key objectives of the RiverLink programme are achieved – a resilient and safer transport network for all travellers, improved access to Wellington City from the Hutt Valley as well as enabling economic and urban growth.
RiverLink is a partnership between Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency working together with Mana Whenua partners – Ngāti toa Rangitira and Taranaki Whānui kit e Upoko o te Ika (Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust).
Cr Ponter also described the Government’s approach as far-sighted investment, given its focus on public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure.
The NZ Upgrade Programme will invest $211 million in infrastructure upgrades to increase line capacity and support increased frequency of Metlink and Capital Connection services. The package includes the refurbishment of the Capital Connection and a range of safety improvements.
New passing infrastructure at Carterton and Maymorn will enable express freight and commuter trains to operate with greater efficiency on the Wairarapa line. A second platform at Featherston will support improved passenger services by enabling two passenger trains to pass.
“Increasing capacity and patronage on the Capital Connection and Wairarapa is key not only to building regional connections but also to increasingly important regional climate change policies promoting mode shift from cars to public transport.
“With transport emissions rising in the Wellington region it’s vital we increase the capacity and quality of Metlink’s services and investment on this scale will help us achieve that and meet our goal of getting to carbon positivity by 2035.”
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