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Transport Strategy released for comment

March 15, 2006

Transport Strategy released for comment

A strategy outlining the council's vision and plans for meeting the transport needs of North Shore City residents and businesses will soon be available for public comment as part of the Draft City Plan 2006-2016.

North Shore City Transport Strategy 2006 has in part been shaped by what more than 6,000 residents told the council about their transport priorities, during the Better Transport (2003) and Community Outcomes (2005) community consultation programmes.

The new strategy sets out how the council intends to develop, manage and influence transport to meet challenges arising from city growth and land use requirements, along with other community objectives.

Tony Barker, chairman of North Shore City's infrastructure and environment committee that approved the release of the strategy for public comment, urges residents to read the document and comment through the City Plan consultation process.

"The strategy, once implemented, will determine future transport-related decisions made by this council, so it is important that we get things right at this planning stage," says Councillor Barker.

"In recent years we've taken important steps in the right direction, with significant new public transport projects such as the Northern Busway, bus priority measures and ferry improvements, as well as upgrades to key arterial roads. The new strategy, and its resulting Transport Implementation Plan, will allow us to keep up the momentum."

The document concludes that a significant increase in capital expenditure is needed to provide residents with a better transport system.

Three levels of funding are presented for public comment: * Option 1: Status Quo - this is the total amount of expenditure allowed for in the existing 2004-14 City Plan (adjusted for price increases since then). The total of $315m over the next 10 years would be spent on completing existing transport projects, with $164m of this spent over the next three years. $63m would be available for new projects.

* Option 2: Mid Range Option - increase expenditure from $315m to $469m, for the completion of bus priority measures, support for economic development within the city, new road construction and important safety/efficiency projects.

* Option 3: Full Option - increase transport spending to $546m. In addition to funding projects outlined in previous two options, this allows for the introduction of networked ferry services to Browns Bay and Takapuna, an additional Busway bus station, road upgrading and bus priority measures to support new developments in the north of the city, and further upgrading to large sections of the arterial road network.

North Shore City's transport planning manager, Graeme Read, says the Full Option represents a viable capital works programme that will deliver the greatest level of benefits.

"In particular it would remove many impediments in the current transport system and provide for a better future."

The transport strategy and draft City Plan 2006-16 will be available from Wednesday March 22, online at www.northshorecity.govt.nz and in hard copy from council libraries and offices. Feedback to the council can be made via the consultation programme for the City Plan.

ENDS

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