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Draft strategy approved for consultation

18 May 2005

Draft strategy approved for consultation

The future vision for transport in the Auckland region is about to go out for public consultation and Aucklanders are encouraged to have their say.

The Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee (RLTC) yesterday approved the Draft Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) to go out for public consultation, enabling Aucklanders to have their say on the way $10.7 billion is spent on their transport network over the next ten years.

"This is a major milestone in achieving our goal of delivering the Regional Land Transport Strategy by the end of this year," says Committee Chair, Cr Joel Cayford.

Legislation passed last year requires a review of the Auckland region's Land Transport Strategy, including a new 10-year plan, to be completed by the end of 2005. New transport legislation also specifically requires consideration of the objectives of economic development, access and mobility, safety and security, public health and environmental sustainability.

These legislative changes dictate that the strategy cannot mention specific roading or public transport projects, but that it focus on the strategic direction for transport.

Cr Cayford says that the Draft RLTS 2005 sets regional objectives and policies to provide a framework for the region's transport implementation agencies, such as Transit NZ and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), to operate under.

"It outlines a number of strategic options for improving transport in Auckland over the next 10 years, involving differing emphasis on road improvements, public transport and travel demand management," he says.

The RLTC has adopted a 'High Passenger Transport' option for the draft strategy. The committee's preferred option includes the following key points: · Increased provision of public transport, with improvements to bus and ferry services as well as continued upgrading of rail
· Continued expenditure on completing the strategic road network
· Continued development of travel demand management, including measures such as walking school buses, business travel plans and support for walking and cycling
· Provision for additional spending on safety related road improvements · Provision for additional spending on improving the operation of regional arterial roads

A detailed outline of all of the options, or combinations of expenditure, that were considered will be included in the consultation material, and members of the public will be able to comment on their preference.

The draft strategy and summary document will be available in mid-June. Members of the public will be able to download the strategy, the summary and supporting information from the ARC website, or will be able to contact the ARC on 09 366 2000 to receive information by post.

Submissions will close mid-August and hearings will take place in early September.

ENDS

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