Strategy Adopted To Improve The Transport System In Horowhenua
Horowhenua District Council has adopted the Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy (HITS) to oversee the planning, investment and delivery of transport-related infrastructure projects.
The strategy provides a vision and principles-based planning framework to help coordinate the delivery of critical transport projects.
Vision: Horowhenua has a safe, accessible, innovative, integrated, multi-modal and sustainable transport system that supports a thriving, healthy and growing community and enhances the travellers’ experience.
· A safe, accessible and resilient land transport system
· An innovative transport system
· A sustainable transport system
· Plan to develop an integrated multi-modal transport system
· A thriving, growing and healthy community.
More than 750 people, iwi, businesses, neighbouring councils, groups and organisations took part in two rounds of engagement to develop the strategy.
Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden said the strategy shines a light on the transport infrastructure and investments needed to create a multi-modal transport network that aids sustainable development in our district.
“There has been significant population and traffic movement growth in recent years,” said Mayor Wanden. “The safety records on the State Highway network through our district and on the local road network are concerning. And, our people have too few interregional public transportation options and cycling options.”
Mayor Wanden said the strategy is aspirational and sets the direction for the next 30 years.
“Our roads will be safer in the longer term, but significant investment is required for that to occur. The safety improvements proposed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will help, as will the eventual completion of the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway. However, we should all be prepared for higher traffic movements when the Transmission Gully and Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressways open next year.”
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships, Emma Speight said the Agency is pleased to have had the opportunity to work alongside Horowhenua District Council and contribute to the development of a transport strategy for the district.
“We currently have a significant amount of work underway in the district, from the new Ōtaki to north of Levin highway to safety improvements on the existing highways. The Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy will provide a valuable framework to help ensure these and future projects are aligned and support sustainable transport outcomes for the district including improving safety, resilience, improved travel options and freight connections.”
Principal Policy Advisor Cynthia Ward said HITS allows Horowhenua and our partners to take concerted purposive action on transport planning.
“HITS informs our transport partners at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Horizons Regional Council with our community’s aspirations, intent and purpose with regards to transport.”
“It identifies the critical transport investments needed to address a range of issues across the network relating to safety, access, resilience, public transport and active transport modes, and freight and logistics movement.”
“To some extent,” said Mrs Ward, “it is the missing piece of the collaborative puzzle and will help with advocacy and to unlock funding for projects from our partners.”
Mrs Ward said the strategy also identifies transport investment that will aid the vitality and amenity of our town and rural centres.
“It gives effect to the objectives of the Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, the Horowhenua Shared Pathways Strategy and the Levin Town Centre Strategy. It supports increasing investment in public transport options, and the government’s focus on reducing the road toll.”
Mrs Ward said the next steps are for Council to complete a Programme Business Case with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and for an implementation plan to be developed. Key projects will feature in Council’s Asset Management Plan and the Horizons Regional Land Transport Plan – both of which are about to be reviewed. To deliver the HITS programme through the strategy’s 30-year lifetime, a governance group has been established that includes Horowhenua District Council and key investment partners Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Manawatū Whanganui Regional Council.
The Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy can be found at www.horowhenua.govt.nz/HITS