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Review of regional land transport strategy

Review of regional land transport strategy

21 February 2006

A regional land transport strategy that prompted a $150 million Government grant last year is soon going to be made even better.

The Bay of Plenty’s Regional Land Transport Strategy is being reviewed – and residents and organisations now have the chance to give their views on it.

Signed off in late 2004, the strategy prioritises the region’s transport projects and estimates how much they will cost over the next 10 years. It is a key guiding document for regional, city and district councils, Land Transport New Zealand, and Transit NZ and other organisations involved in the region’s development.

Though still fairly new, the strategy already needs updating, explains Environment Bay of Plenty transport policy manager, Garry Maloney. “We have completed further research into certain aspects of transport in the Bay of Plenty, and we want to feed that into the strategy,” he explains. “We also want to make sure people are still happy with its general direction and specific aspects of it.”

Key areas under review include:

- Initiatives to encourage a shift away from private vehicle use to alternatives such as bus services, car pooling or cycling.
-Transport corridors that link the Bay of Plenty with other regions, such as the Waikato
- Increasing passenger transport services in some areas
- The development of a formal rail strategy
- How to avoid damaging the environment

Anyone who wishes to comment on the strategy review has until the end of March to do so. Environment Bay of Plenty will carry out more formal public consultation in April and May, with submissions on the draft in mid-year. The new Regional Land Transport Strategy will be adopted in September.
Mr Maloney says people can find copies of the current strategy, as well as the aspects under review, on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website at www.envbop.govt.nz). Please call Environment Bay of Plenty on 0800 ENV BOP (368 267) for further information. You can make a comment by faxing 0800 ENV BOP (368 329), posting it to P O Box 364, Whakatane or emailing info@envbop.govt.nz.

The Regional Land Transport Strategy sets a strategic framework for transportation in the region. It encompasses all forms of land transport, including roading, rail public transport, cycling and walking. It focuses not just on roads but on transport ‘corridors’ where the need for roads is weighted alongside alternatives such as rail and public transport. It also contains a travel demand management strategy.

ENDS

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