A five-week period seeking public feedback on the proposed approaches for addressing the transport issues facing Nelson’s arterial network between the Annesbrook and Haven Road roundabouts closed on Sunday 24 April.
Feedback has allowed the project team to hear from a wide range of people, Raewyn Bleakley, Central Regional Director, NZ Transport Agency says.
“It was important to share the information we've been working on with the community, and to ask for input at this early stage. This is why we held seven community information sessions, and had information booklets available at public libraries, as well as online,” Ms Bleakley says.
“We had a good response with the sessions attended by over 250 people, and we’ve received more than 2,000 items of written feedback. We appreciate the time that people took to come and see us, and to put their ideas in writing. This gives the Transport Agency the opportunity to consider a range of ideas,” Ms Bleakley says.
“We know that people are passionate about living in Nelson, and many people have strong views about how Nelson’s transport network currently functions and how it can be improved.”
“It is important for us to work with communities by talking with them about the transport issues we identify and asking them what will work for them. We’ll now take time to consider the feedback the community has given us.”
Ms Bleakley says the community feedback will be used, along with other factors, to inform the next stage of the Programme Business Case. The next stage will determine a preferred approach for addressing the identified congestion and accessibility problems and investment objectives for the arterial network.
“The proposed approaches will now be assessed for their ability to help decrease peak hour travel, improve capacity to move people and goods, decrease walking and cycling crashes and increase walking and cycling numbers on Rocks Road. Other factors such as feasibility, affordability, safety, along with the broad economic, social and environmental impacts will also be taken into account.
Ms Bleakley says that if the investigation proceeds to the next stage, people will be given an opportunity to have their say again.
“There are two further important phases of the business case approach to complete if the investigation continues. We are currently in the Programme Business Case phase of the investigation. The next phase would be an Indicative Business Case (stage three) which develops the preferred approach further, and the last phase would be the Detailed Business Case, which would develop the final option in more detail.”
Each phase of the investigation is subject to approvals which determine if it will proceed to the next stage.
During the latter stages of the business case process, detailed environmental assessments, such as noise and air quality effects, will be undertaken to inform any relevant consenting requirements.
The Programme Business Case is expected to finish later this year and will include a recommended approach to improve transport along the arterial network between the Annesbrook and Haven Road roundabouts.
It is anticipated that a summary of feedback themes will be made available mid-year. Visit www.nzta.govt.nz/nelson-southern-link(external link) for more information and to register to receive updates.
The Nelson Southern Link Investigation was launched in 2015 after being brought forward as part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Package.
The Nelson Southern Link Investigation Strategic Business Case was released in December 2015, providing a high-level analysis that identified two key issues for Nelson’s arterial routes – congestion and accessibility. Congestion is an issue in peak hours on Nelson’s two arterial routes and results in travel delays. Accessibility is an issue for walking and cycling in Nelson as the current infrastructure on SH6 Rocks Road is constraining walking and cycling opportunities.
The second stage in the NSLI is the development of a Programme Business Case, which is underway now. A five week period of public engagement took place between 23 March - 24 April. Public feedback received during this time is one factor will help determine the final programme which could be progressed to the next business case stage, if approved.