In a move to increase their ''political heft'', the transport
committees of Otago and Southland are joining forces to
develop a combined regional land transport plan.
RLTPs outline the roading projects regions want completed
during a three-year period and require national funding.
The present plans run out in 2015, so councils have started
to look at transport priorities for the next three years,
2015 to 2018.
The transport committees of both Otago and Southland regional
councils held a joint meeting last month and decided to
recommend to each council that a joint plan be developed.
''There was a significant amount of enthusiasm for this,''
Otago Land Transport Committee chairman Cr Trevor Kempton
said at a regional council meeting yesterday.
The two regions' roading networks were closely integrated
with most tourists and freight having to go through Otago to
get to Southland.
Projects to be included in plans such as the future of the
Kawarau Falls Bridge were of economic importance to both
Southland's transport budget was about $200 million and
Otago's $400 million, so by combining them, they had the
''political heft'' of $600,000 million, he said.
While the transport plan would be ''joint'', the two regional
transport committees would remain separate bodies.
By adopting the report on the joint transport meeting, the
regional council gave implicit approval to the concept of a
joint plan, chairman Stephen Woodhead said.