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Next steps for Nelson Southern Link Investigation

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The NZ Transport Agency has published the programme business case for the Nelson Southern Link investigation and outlined the next steps for the development of a detailed business case to develop a new arterial road and progress other activities to ease congestion in the city.

The development of the programme business case for the Nelson Southern Link included public consultation on a range of potential options and combinations of options to improve Nelson’s transport system, including a new route for the state highway, broadly along the previous Southern Link alignment, as well as options incorporating the results of the Rocks Road walking and cycling investigation.

The programme business case has now been completed, with a recommendation that a range of short-term improvements should be progressed by 2020, including intersection improvements, the addition of clearways on critical sections of Waimea Road and SH6 (Tahunanui Drive and Annesbrook Drive), improvements to public transport and improved accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Transport Agency South Island Director of Regional Relationships Jim Harland says these improvements will help to address the two key problems of congestion and accessibility for Nelson’s arterial routes in the short-term.

“Congestion and delays are a problem in peak hours, and accessibility is an issue for pedestrians and cyclists in Nelson as the current infrastructure on Rocks Road is constraining walking and cycling opportunities. This work is about addressing the pressing issues affecting Nelson now, while at the same time planning for a transport system which will enable continued growth and allow people and goods to move safely and efficiently around the city and through the region.”

Mr Harland says as Nelson continues to grow and the demands on its transport system increase, a longer-term solution will also be required.The programme business case recommends that a new route should be constructed in the early 2030s, and that the new route  should be protected while further investigations are undertaken.

The Government initiated the Nelson Southern Link investigation as part of the Crown-funded Accelerated Regional Roading Package (ARRP) in 2014, and the detailed business case investigation will also be funded by the Crown through the ARRP.

The detailed business case will include:

  • dialogue with the Council to understand their views on network optimisation
  • review of the wider economic benefits and growth rates to confirm timing of a new route
  • confirmation of the new route’s form and alignment
  • preparation for route protection and identification of the options for walking and cycling on Rocks Road. 

There will be further public engagement, targeted community engagement and formal consultation undertaken during the detailed business case. Formal support will be sought from Nelson City Council on the outcomes of the investigation at the conclusion of the detailed business case, before applications are made for the consents required to build the road. Further consideration of the consenting process will be undertaken as part of the detailed business case.

Download a copy of the Nelson Southern Link Investigation programme business case [PDF, 11 MB] and the executive summary [PDF, 339 KB].

For more information, visit the Nelson Southern Link webpage.

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