A Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) sets out a region’s land transport objectives, policies, and measures for at least 10 financial years, as required under section 16 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003. The direction set by an RLTP is an essential part of the strategic context for any land transport investment proposal.

Land Transport Management Act 2003(external link)

RLTPs are prepared by Regional Transport Committees, or Auckland Transport in the case of Auckland, every six years. The Land Transport Management Act 2003 sets out in detail the requirements of an RLTP, including the requirement to complete a review of an RLTP during the six-month period before the end of the third year of the plan.

What does an RLTP contain?

RLTPs describe the region’s long-term vision and identify its short- to medium-term investment priorities to move towards this vision. They also include a regional programme of transport activities proposed for funding over the next three to six years.

RLTPs are the primary vehicle for discussing and agreeing a clear set of regional outcomes, priorities and improvement projects in the land transport space. They describe the gap between where we are and where we need to get to, along with the programme of activities needed to bridge that gap. Therefore, RLTPs tell a powerful story about a region and its aspirations.

For Waka Kotahi, RLTPs are more than just a list of activities or projects that funding is being sought for – they tell the story what really matters to a region, how investment in different activities will achieve the community’s outcomes and where change is most needed.

An RLTP that applies the Business Case Approach (BCA) principles will inform and drive investment across all funding sources. It presents a compelling case for land transport investment for local, regional and national investors.

Considerations when developing your RLTP

As you develop your RLTP, here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Any changes in your region’s population and/or economy that will have an impact on the transport system and how people use it. Similarly, changes promoted in the plan will affect your region’s population and economy. Consider how you can use the plan to facilitate positive outcomes now and in the future.
  • In the policy and context section you will have regional policy context and direction in addition to the national policy context and direction. Consider how the combination of national and regional policies will shape and impact the plan as you develop it, particularly problem statements, benefits, investment objectives, pressures, the current environment and responses.
  • The impact your plan has on road controlling authorities, and more specifically, how the strategic context and frameworks can be used by these authorities to inform the development of their activity management plans and the programmes of work they will submit for inclusion into the RLTP.

The world is changing more quickly than ever before, so you cannot predict exactly what the future will look like. However, you can:

  • factor what risks and uncertainties could impact the transport system.
  • build your plan with a focus on providing certainty in the short to medium term (because the long term is less predictable).
  • realise there is always more than one way to solve a problem. Analyse a range of options and factors before you identify a preferred approach. Be clear and transparent about the reasons the preferred investment priorities/options were chosen and what the key trade-offs are.
  • think ‘Big Picture’. How do the individual elements of your proposed plan affect each other? What is the flow-on effect on other parts of the network? How will this plan impact on the pressures, the current environment and land consumption?
  • prioritise the activities in your plan, and consider how the sequencing will influence your ability to alleviate problems and realise benefits.

Waka Kotahi have made changes to strategic tools which will be used in the development of your RLTPs, therefore we recommend that you consider how these tools should be used in the development of your plans:

  • The Benefits Framework provides a consistent way of measuring benefits across activities and programmes. The benefits management framework should be considered when developing your strategic & monitoring frameworks.
  • The One Network Framework (ONF) is used to determine the function of our roads and streets, inform decision making and to provide an easy-to-understand common language that all transport, land use and urban planners can share. When fully implemented, the One Network Framework can be used to benchmark performance and align performance measures and outcomes. The ONF should be considered when developing your strategic context and strategic & monitoring frameworks.

RLTP guidance and templates

The Transport Special Interest Group (TSIG), with support from Waka Kotahi, has developed best practice guidance for developing the RLTP 2021–2031. Use this guidance in conjunction with the RLTP templates.

For more information, please contact Waka Kotahi or your TSIG representative.