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Decision Made On Transport Choices Programme

The Minister of Transport Simeon Brown has written to Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate and Hamilton City Council’s Chief Executive Lance Vervoort, to inform them of his decisions regarding the Transport Choices programme.

The Minister said all projects put on hold at the end of October 2023 will not receive any further funding, and therefore will not proceed to implementation/construction as part of the Transport Choices programme.

Minister Brown said the Transport Choices projects that already have signed a funding agreement with NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi would not be impacted and could continue to progress to construction.

The Minister said NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi would be in contact with Hamilton City Council early in 2024 to discuss the implications for specific Transport Choices projects.

All councils proceeding in the programme with a signed funding agreement are to complete their Transport Choices projects by June 2025.

Background:

Hamilton City Council’s Transport Choices budget was originally $37.12 million for 28 projects, with up to 90% funded by the Climate Emergency Response Fund through NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi and 10% by the Council.

However, in September 2023, the transport agency instructed all 46 councils in the programme to identify 10% savings across their projects.

Hamilton City Council responded to the request and reduced its budget to $33.31 million by removing three projects from the programme and scaling back two others.

The three projects removed include:

  • Hall Street and Mill Street: Separated bike lanes and safer intersections along the length of the road between Victoria Street and Kent Street. Total budget, $75,000 (design only). Council’s share, $7500.
  • Western Rail Trail to Lake Domain: New pedestrian/cycle crossing on Lake Domain Drive, upgrade of existing shared path connecting to Lake Domain Drive and new path from the Western Rail Trail to the lake. Total budget, $130,000. Council’s share, $13,000.
  • Hyde Avenue: Street improvements for people to access the shopping centre, community hub, local park and schools. Total budget, $75,000. Council’s share, $15,000.

The two projects scaled back include:

  • Pembroke Street: A project to upgrade bus stop infrastructure at two locations on Pembroke Street was scaled back to one location. Total budget, $550,000. Council’s share, $110,000.
  • Bike and scooter parking: A project to install bike parking was scaled back from three locations to two locations. Total budget, $770,000. Council’s share, $77,000.
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In November 2023, Waka Kotahi confirmed $14.06 million of Transport Choices funding for Hamilton City Council to cover construction of eight projects and a further four projects which had already been completed.

The eight confirmed projects include:

  • Claudelands Park: Upgrade the path through Claudelands Park between Heaphy Terrace and Brooklyn Road. Total budget, $750,000. Council’s share, $75,000.
  • Heaphy Terrace: An off-road, two-way cycleway which will link Fairfield and the central city via Claudelands Bridge, as well as dual pedestrian and cycle crossing on Heaphy Terrace. Total budget, $1.35 million. Council’s share, $135,000.
  • End of trip facilities: Installing safe, covered, and well-lit areas to store a bike or scooter and to charge e-bikes and scooters. Total budget, $770,000. Council’s share, $77,000.
  • Rifle Range Road: Separated bike lanes, new crossings and safety platforms. Total budget, $3.5 million. Council’s share, $350,000.
  • River Road footpath: 1.3km footpath on the western side of River Road. Total budget, $1.8 million. No cost to Council, totally funded by Transport Choices.
  • Hukanui Road: Installing in-lane bus stops, protected bike lane, raised pedestrian crossing. Total budget, $800,000. Council’s share, $80,000.
  • Rotokauri Road-Baverstock Road: New raised crossings, new bus stops and upgrading existing bus stops. Total budget, $1.03 million. Council’s share, $206,000.
  • Bus shelters: Upgrading and installing new bus shelters in high-priority sites. Total budget, $1.21 million. Council’s share, $121,000.

The four completed projects are:

  • Killarney Road-Queens Avenue: New roundabout and bike lanes. Total budget, $1.24 million. Council’s share, $124,000.
  • Lake Road-Commerce Street: New roundabout, raised pedestrian crossings. Total budget, $1.22 million. Council’s share, $244,000.
  • Pembroke Street: Upgrades to bus infrastructure (phase one of two completed). Total budget, $550,000. Council’s share, $110,000.
  • Anglesea Street (South): In-lane bus stop, improve waiting areas for people using bus. Total budget, $400,000. Council’s share, $40,000.

There are 13 projects which will not receive funding, following the decisions made by the Minister of Transport. These projects will not be constructed.

  • Lorne Street & Bader Street, Te Awa to Waikato Hospital: Street improvements to make it safer for people to bike into the city and easier for more people to catch the bus in this area. Total budget, $3.9 million. Council’s share, $390,000.
  • Killarney Road: Separated two-way cycleway on the northern side of Killarney Road and other street safety improvements. Total budget, $1.9 million. Council’s share, $190,000.
  • Gallagher Drive and Kahikatea Drive: Improve shared pathway from Western Rail Trail and the intersection of Kahikatea Drive and Quentin Drive. Total budget, $1 million. Council’s share, $100,000.
  • Brooklyn Road: Protected bike lane, raised pedestrian crossings, new shared pathways. Total budget, $1.5 million. Council’s share, $150,000.
  • Level Crossing – Killarney Road: New pedestrian/bike level crossing. Total budget, $680,000. Council’s share, $68,000.
  • Bike Parklets: Bike parking at Grey Street and St Andrews Shops. Total budget, $530,000. Council’s share, $53,000.
  • Tristram Street: Upgrading footpaths to improve walking connections from Palmerston Street near the St Peters Tennis Club into the central city. Total budget, $1 million. Council’s share, $100,000.
  • Hayes Paddock: New raised pedestrian crossings, relocation of bus stop, reconfiguration of Y-intersection. Total budget, $1.2 million. No cost to Council, totally funded by Transport Choices.
  • Western Rail Trail to Frankton Station: Direct pathway from Western Rail Trail to rail station. Total budget, $1 million. Council’s share, $100,000.
  • Riverlea Connections: Improvements to provide a safer environment for people to bike and walk. Total budget, $1.81 million. Council’s share, $181,000.
  • Horsham Downs Road: Multiple improvements to make the street safer and more convenient for people to walk, bike and bus in Rototuna. Total budget $1.5 million. Council’s share, $150,000.
  • Level Crossings – Claudelands East and Brooklyn Road: New pedestrian/bike level crossing. Total budget, $2.2 million. Council’s share, $220,000.
  • Bike Parking in schools: Installing permanent bike parking in schools to give students, staff and visitors more parking options. Total budget: $120,000. No cost to Council, totally funded by Transport Choices.

*The Hayes Paddock project (currently unfunded) and River Road footpath project (currently funded) will be discussed at a Council information session on 7 February. A final decision will be made on these projects at the meeting.

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