Transport Hub road safety changes approved
Safety for tens of thousands of future commuters at Hamilton’s Rotokauri Transport Hub was the key driver of a decision today to make changes to Tasman Rd.
Hamilton City Council’s Regulatory and Hearings Committee voted unanimously to approve proposed changes including reduced speed limits, restricting parking, building off-road cycle paths, and making a section of Tasman Rd in the vicinity of the transport hub bus-only access and closed to private vehicles.
Staff have also been asked to work with business operators in the area to identify improvements to other roads and intersections in the area to ensure alternate routes can best accommodate over-dimensional vehicles.
Chris Allen, the Council’s Development General Manager says the decision aligns with the Council’s Vision Zero for road safety.
“We’re a growing city, with 20,000 more people expected to call Hamilton home in the next 10 years and we want to ensure all our transport connections are as safe as possible for everyone,” Mr Allen says.
“Separating pedestrians and people on bikes from vehicles, reducing speed limits and supporting effective public transport are all ways we can improve safety and connectivity. We expect the Rotokauri Transport Hub to be a highly-used and vibrant pedestrian area, as part of a critical transport node linking to future mass transit connections within and outside Hamilton.”
Feedback from business owners in the area was a discussion point for the Committee, and as a result staff were instructed to involve transport operators in this area in the detailed road design as the project develops.
Today’s decision is a further step in the creation of the public transport hub, which will provide a connection for a start-up Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service as well as a bus interchange and a potential pedestrian access to The Base.
Planning for the transport hub and changes to Tasman Rd were mooted more than a decade ago and notified in the Rotokauri Structure Plan and District Plan in 2007, with land purchased in 2017 and funding for the hub included in the 2018-28 10-Year Plan.
The Council consulted on the Tasman Rd proposals in June and July 2019 and received 60 valid submissions, with 52% supporting the changes, 45% against and 3% not indicating a preference. Hearings were held last week, with eight submitters speaking about their submissions.