Few country's have regional roads that get as much of a workout as those in New Zealand. From logging trucks tackling state highways to families making their way to the Coromandel, Kiwi drivers are used to leaving major motorways to get where they're going.
However, these roads can be daunting for the uninitiated, with one lane roads winding up mountains and along the coast. Naturally, these features – in combination with a road toll that rose in 2015 – have drawn the attention of the government who recently announced a major funding program to ensure rural roads are just as safe as their metropolitan equivalents.
Funding targets regional roads
The government recently revealed its commitment to accelerating the funding of a range of roading projects in an effort to get the country's regional infrastructure up to a safe standard. So far, $115 million has been dedicated to the initiative, which will be used to finance both new projects and some that are currently underway.
According to Transport Minister Simon Bridges, the Northern Link into Taranaki is one of the most important projects in this round of funding, as it's part of the route many freight businesses take through the Waikato. Not only does the upgrade promise safety benefits, it will ensure a number of industries continue to thrive in the region.
"Improving the safety and reliability of this road is a real priority for the Government," he began. "The bypasses and other planned safety improvements will ensure this important stretch of road supports the ongoing economic growth of Taranaki."
The other projects included in this round of funding include those in Gisborne and Blenheim, ensuring roads across the country are safe for travellers and business drivers alike.
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