New highways to help with predictable journeys.
The Transport Agency is building two new projects to the north of Christchurch – the Western Corridor now completed and Christchurch Northern Corridor. These projects will help ease congestion and provide opportunities (room) for the Transport Agency and other agencies to improve facilities for other modes like public transport, cycling and walking.
These projects will:
- Provide more predictable journey times and reduce congestion
- Provide a safe off-road access over the Waimakariri River for cyclist that joins up with other key cycle infrastructure
- Improve access to Christchurch’s Central City, Christchurch International Airport and Lyttelton Port
- Allow for improved public transport (PT) infrastructure especially along the main PT corridor of Main North Road and Papanui Road
- Allow for improved cycle and pedestrian facilities and public transport infrastructure
- Provide safer streets by moving freight trucks and commuter traffic off suburban roads
- Support economic growth by moving people and goods more quickly and efficiently
- Support the urban growth plans for North Canterbury and Christchurch
- The Western Corridor was finished in 2017/18 and the Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) will be finished in by the end of 2020.
More information on these projects can be found at these links:
Public transport improvements
Environment Canterbury is helping to reduce congestion by improving public transport services to and from the north of Christchurch and North Canterbury. Several improvements to bus services from Waimakariri district have and are being introduced. The frequency of bus services from Waimakariri has increased, route coverage has improved, and a new direct commuter bus service is also being introduced on the CNC motorway when it opens.
The Christchurch City Council is making infrastructure improvements to the Main North Road/Papanui Road bus corridor to improve the efficiency of buses using the route.
Christchurch City Council Main North Road project(external link)
Park and Ride facilities in Waimakariri
Waimakariri District Council is working on new and improved Park & Ride facilities in both Kaiapoi and Rangiora to be ready by the time the new direct commuter buses start on the new CNC motorway. Park & Ride facilities will support the use of the carpooling lanes and public transport. People in single occupant vehicles will be able to park and catch the bus or meet up with a friend to share a car to work.
Carpooling/T2 lanes on CNC
Carpool, T2 or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes encourage carpooling and bus use which will help reduce congestion and travel times.
The NZ Transport Agency is building two separate Carpool/T2 lanes on the CNC motorway to encourage ride sharing and public transport use. A HOV lane can only be used by public transport and vehicles with more than one occupant.
Here is a video explaining how the Carpool/T2 Lanes will work:
Shared use path clip-on lane across the Waimakariri River bridge
A separated cycle and pedestrian shared path will run the entire length of the CNC project including a new clip-on lane on the Waimakariri Bride over the Waimakariri River. The CNC path will link to the CCC’s Papanui Parallel in the south and with the Waimakariri District Council’s shared path on the northern side of the river providing access through to Kaiapoi.
This path and the public’s eager adoption of electric bikes and scooters makes commuting from North Canterbury a viable option for many.
What about light rail?
Environment Canterbury and partners have investigated introducing a commuter rail service from Rangiora on the existing railway line to help reduce northern congestion in the short term. It was found not to be viable in the short-term for four key reasons:
- The railway line doesn’t take people where they need to go. Many Waimakariri commuters work near the airport and central city which are not well serviced by the existing track.
- Costs were too high for Ecan (and therefore your rates) as there would need to be upgrades to stations and the buying/leasing, operating and maintaining of trains. We would still need to run bus services as well to service the bus stops in between the stations.
- The cost would likely be too high for the individual (>$10 each way) plus many people would still need to buy an additional bus ticket as well.
- Use of the existing single track by freight would restrict the potential timetable and could delay passenger services – (The train would be infrequent and slower than driving).
For now, a package of bus improvements is a better, more cost-effective, short-term solution for everyone.
In the longer-term light rail is being considered as part of the PT Futures project managed by the Greater Christchurch Partnership.
Greater Christchurch Partnership website(external link)