New highways to help with predictable journeys.
The NZ Transport Agency is building two new highways to the north of Christchurch – the Western Corridor and Northern Arterial. These will help ease congestion and provide motorists with more predictable journey times, particularly during the morning peak.
These projects will:
- Provide more predictable journey times and reduce congestion
- Improve access to Christchurch’s Central City, Christchurch International Airport and Lyttelton Port
- Allow for improved cycle and pedestrian facilities and public transport infrastructure
- Provide safer streets by moving freight trucks and commuter traffic off suburban roads
- Support economic growth by moving people and goods more quickly and efficiently
- Support the urban growth plans for North Canterbury and Christchurch.
The Western Corridor will be finished in 2017/18 and Northern Arterial 2019/20.
Have a look at these videos for more information on the Western Corridor and Northern Arterial
More information on these projects can be found at these links
What about light rail?
Environment Canterbury and partners have investigated introducing a commuter rail service from Rangiora on the existing railway line to help reduce northern congestion in the short term. It was found not to be viable in the short-term for four key reasons:
- The railway line doesn’t take people where they need to go. Many Waimakariri commuters work near the airport and central city which are not well serviced by the existing track.
- Costs were too high for Ecan (and therefore your rates) as there would need to be upgrades to stations and the buying/leasing, operating and maintaining of trains. We would still need to run bus services as well to service the bus stops in between the stations.
- The cost would likely be too high for the individual (>$10 each way) plus many people would still need to buy an additional bus ticket as well.
- Use of the existing single track by freight would restrict the potential timetable and could delay passenger services – (The train would be infrequent and slower than driving).
We haven’t ruled out light rail in the long term, but for now a package of bus improvements is a better, more cost-effective, short-term solution for everyone.