News, Events and Culture

Palmerston North City Council welcomes NZTA decision to invest in strategic business case for regional freight ring road

Friday August 12 2016

Mayor Grant Smith says the New Zealand Transport Agency’s decision to invest $500,000 to prepare a strategic business case for a regional freight ring road demonstrates the value of central and local government working together.

The announcement was made by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce at the launch of the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan in Whanganui today.

The action plan has been developed by Accelerate25, made up of business leaders, iwi, hapu and Councils in partnership with central government. The plan includes a focus on developing transport infrastructure including consideration of the regional ring road as an immediate priority.  

Mayor Smith says NZTA’s decision to prepare a strategic business case for the ring road proposal is an important step.

“Councils in the region through Accelerate25 have been lobbying hard for government investment in a regional freight ring road and road bridges over the Manawatū River linking Longburn, Kairanga, Bunnythorpe and Ashhurst to State Highway 3.

“Palmerston North and the region is already well recognised as a freight distribution hub due to our excellent road, rail and air links. Many firms are investing in freight distribution centres including the development of an inland port and freight hub on the site of the old Longburn Freezing Works.

“A ring road would accelerate that trend, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”
Mayor Smith says construction of the road alone should inject millions of dollars into the region.

He says the road would also be welcomed by the people of Palmerston North City because it would reduce the number of freight trucks passing through residential areas.

He says a ring road would also be of national significance.  

“Our volume of road freight is already six times greater than Taranaki, three times more than Hawke's Bay and more than twice that of Wellington.”