“This week Nelson City Council elected members will be asked to endorse a transport blueprint that envisions a city where people ride, walk, take buses, drive and travel with much greater ease than they currently do,” says Emma Speight, Director of Regional Relationships for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
The Nelson Future Access (NFA) preferred programme has been released as part of council agenda papers this week, ahead of Council’s 28 October 2021 meeting.
The programme is designed to roll out over 30 years. If endorsed, it will assist the region to apply for funding that will increase the availability of attractive walking and cycling paths and public transport options close to urban areas, support reliable journeys and economic development and improve safety, says Ms Speight.
When compared with the status quo of no new investment in the transport network, the programme recommends infrastructure and supporting Council policy that will encourage a shift away from private vehicles of between 6% and 8%. Modelling shows the full programme could, by 2048, reduce C02 emissions by 16%.
Ms Speight says Nelson City is forecast to experience a high level of residential growth, with freight also forecast to grow significantly over the next 15 years. “This preferred transport programme responds to this pressure by managing freight and other traffic growth safely. We need to ensure the region’s economy continues to thrive and that we reduce CO2, but this can only be done if people choose to travel in different ways.”
She says the flexible priority lanes would encourage bus use and could, in time, also be used to encourage other preferable vehicle use.
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said Council endorsement of the business case is essential for the programme to move forward and progress to be made.
“Council is encouraging the community to transition to more sustainable modes - choosing active and public transport more often for their journeys. To make progress in our region, investment and support will be required from Waka Kotahi for a variety of projects and programmes that support a move toward a more sustainable transport system. Critically the NFA preferred programme offers a real opportunity to make our waterfront more people focussed with a wide boulevard for walking and cycling proposed for Rocks Road.”
The business case recommends the programme be sequenced to match the increasing transport demand and assist with value for money as follows:
Near term (Years 0-3) - Efficiency, connectivity and safety on the network. Examples of proposed improvements include traffic lights at Parkers Road-Tahunanui Drive and at Waimea Road-Franklyn Street, cycling facilities along Washington Road and cycling facilities between the Railway Reserve and Waimea Road.
Short term (Years 4-10) – A five metre wide walking and cycling facility along SH6/Rocks Road is the significant project in this period with a focus on improving the connectivity and amenity of the waterfront.
Medium to long term (Years 11-30) - The focus is on improving the efficiency of public transport journeys across the network including the provision of priority lanes, and continued investment to provide for walking and cycling.
Towards the end of this year, the programme is scheduled to go to the Waka Kotahi Board for endorsement. This is required to enable funding to be sought for the various components of the programme.
Link to the council papers:
Nelson City Council: Council and Committee Meetings(external link)
Nelson City Council: Agenda of Council - 28 October 2021(external link)
The project website will also be updated Tuesday morning, 26 October: