Along with addressing the need for resilience in key Manawatū/Whanganui road corridors, an opportunity presents itself to improve safety and increase efficiency in the roading network to further enable the role of the region as a hub for freight distribution.
The Manawatū/Whanganui region is strategically located at the crossroads of much east-west and north-south freight movement serving the lower North Island, and the Transport Agency is working collaboratively with local government in the Manawatū Region to investigate options for moving freight across and through the region.
The options will consider the areas of growth in Palmerston North and how the movement of freight is managed on the local road and state highway network.
The Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Economic Action Plan (Accelerate25) identified distribution and transport as key enablers to realise the economic opportunities identified in the action plan.
Palmerston North, as the hub of many freight movements, requires investment to streamline transport movement, particularly east-west movement to the Port of Napier.
Putting in place the replacement route for the Manawatū Gorge will re-establish a key strategic transport and freight link that supports the needs of the people and economies of central New Zealand, while the Palmerston North Integrated Transport Improvements project will unlock regional economic development opportunities, providing a safer and more effective connection between some of the region’s key industrial areas and removing heavy trucks from Palmerston North’s city centre.
Together, these projects will provide economic and social opportunities for the community, creating a thriving, more liveable Palmerston North, with a reduction in freight moving through the central area of the city.