29 Jun 2011

Govt makes it easier to build toll roads

8:19 pm on 29 June 2011

The Government will change land transport law to make it easier for new toll roads to be built and to give the Crown more flexibility to borrow money for new roads.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce, says the amendments will cut red tape and better align the roles of local and central government in transport planning.

They include reducing the number of formal transport plans and the number of regional transport committee members - including scrapping the requirement to have a cultural representative on them.

"We've currently got 228 dedicated people who are on transport committees around the country. We think we can just about halve that," Mr Joyce said.

The rules for public-private partnerships and toll roads will be made more flexible.

Revenue from toll roads will be able to be included in the National Land Transport Fund, but the requirement that there must be an alternative, un-tolled route near a new toll road, remains.

A bill on the changes will be introduced to Parliament by the end of this year, or early next year.