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Population growth and urban development are putting pressure on the Nelson and Tasman urban transport network.

Our focus is on delivering better transport choices in Nelson and Richmond with improvements to both cycling and the public transport network to support intensification.

A key piece of this work is the Nelson Future Access project detailed business case. Broadly, this work looks at the Rocks Road and Waimea Road corridors and the ability to get people and freight in and out of Nelson safely and efficiently. The endorsed business case also looks to improve the land transport links with Nelson Port, ensure safer and more accessible facilities for people choosing to walk or cycle, and review public transport improvements to maximise the transport network’s efficiency.

Work continues managing the growth around Richmond and Stoke to use the existing network more efficiently, through the endorsed Richmond Programme business case.


The Nelson City Council is focused on improving its public transport service, with a new Stoke loop route to improve accessibility within the Stoke area and connections to the growth area in Saxton. It is also planning to introduce electronic bus ticketing to make it easier for people to use the service.

The Nelson Future Access project considers opportunities to create better transport links between Nelson Port and Annesbrook for all transport modes, including the Rocks Road shared walking and cycling pathway.

Investment in public transport in Nelson and Richmond will improve services both within and between the two centres, while extending the Nelson cycleway between Annesbrook and Tāhunanui will provide better access for those who cycle.

In the last 12 months

  • The Nelson Future Access project looked at ways to develop a multi-modal transport system, a thriving CBD; a world-class waterfront; and a safer, more accessible, and resilient transport system. Community and stakeholder engagement has been completed.


Managing growth and expansion from urban development, improving safety and developing alternative transport choices, particularly cycling and public transport facilities, are the focus for the Tasman district.

In the last 12 months

  • Engagement was completed and endorsement provided by Waka Kotahi and Tasman District Council for the Richmond Transport Programme Business Case, which looks to address Richmond transport needs over the next 30 years. It focuses on making Richmond a safer and more reliable place to travel around by offering everyone improved transport choices.
  • Emergency repair works on SH60 Takaka Hill, following damage caused by Cyclone Gita in February 2018, were completed. The road is now open to two lanes.
  • Safer speed limits were implemented on SH6 between Hope to Wakefield and for the town centre on SH60, High Street, in Motueka.
  • As part of the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, traffic and pedestrian signals and a new roundabout were completed on SH60, in Motueka.
  • 1.1kms of median barrier were installed on SH6 Richmond Deviation to help prevent head-on crashes along this stretch of road.


The purchase of new ferries by KiwiRail and subsequent Picton Ferry Terminal redevelopment brings opportunities to better connect the ferry precinct with the town, rethinking the transport networks and taking advantage of new investment in KiwiRail’s Cook Strait operations. We’re a partner in this project, working with KiwiRail, Te Ātiawa o te Waka ā Māui Trust, Ports of Marlborough and Marlborough District Council.

In the last 12 months

  • Community and stakeholder engagement on Picton Port Access and redevelopment got underway, in conjunction with KiwiRail, Marlborough District Council and Ports of Marlborough.
  • A major storm event damaged more than 460kms of roads throughout Marlborough in July 2021. During the last 12 months, teams have been repairing damage and getting roads reopened. All 350kms of roads that were unpassable have reopened to at least controlled access and 80% of the 1600 faults have been repaired.
  • A new roundabout at the intersection of SH6/62 has been completed, making this intersection safer for everyone traveling around or through Marlborough.

Underway or about to start

  • Investigations are underway for two roundabouts between Woodbourne and Springlands on SH6.

Regional development

Keeping the land transport system well-maintained is a large part of the annual investment from the National Land Transport Fund in the Top of the South. This work is to ensure the transport system is safe, more reliable and easier to use, helping keep communities connected while supporting economic growth.

The Picton Ferry Terminal redevelopment project represents a transformational investment in critical infrastructure that is expected to generate significant tourism, economic and environmental benefits.

The Nelson Future Access project considered how to get people and freight, safely and efficiently, in and out of Nelson. It will also look to improve land transport links with Nelson Port, ensure safer and more accessible walking and cycling facilities, and review public transport.

We continue to work with Nelson City and Tasman District councils to identify how to use the transport network more efficiently, in response to concerns about increasing congestion around growth areas, such as Richmond. This is part of the focus of the endorsed Richmond Transport Programme Business Case.


Climate change is affecting the resilience of the region’s land transport system as a freight corridor and in providing reliable connections to communities.

Continued investment in walking, cycling and public transport across the Top of the South is helping to provide alternative travel options and help improve environmental outcomes.

Funding overview

NLTP Investment in 2021/22 Forecast investment for 2021-24
Total $141 million $390 million
Maintenance and operations  $126 million $321 million
Public transport investment $3 million $14 million
Walking and cycling $1.3 million $11 million
Road to Zero (safety)  $3 million $21 million
Network improvements  $1.9 million $16 million

Overview map

Top of the South map 2022

View larger map [PDF, 437 KB]