New Zealand’s One Network Road Classification (ONRC) was initiated through the recommendations of a 2012 Government taskforce to improve road maintenance investment through level of service differentiation
The introduction of the ONRC has been a giant leap forward in terms of benchmarking investment in asset management in this country, and it has subsequently become embedded in a number of other transport national policies and systems.
Eight years later, the time has come to evolve the classification system as part of a national response across the public sector to reduce harm, take a stronger multi-modal approach, and improve community wellbeing.
The evolution of the ONRC also responds to the recognition that shared, integrated planning approaches between transport and land planners will result in better outcomes. ‘Systems thinking’ allows us to link strategies and policies together and support more holistic decision-making that in turn improves the liveability of places. Developing a common language will allow us to have richer conversations across disciplines about competing demands, and develop a shared understanding of goals, aspirations, performance and service levels.
The new ONF allows us to consider future aspirations for corridors and networks within wider spatial and growth planning strategies. It helps us to establish the intended function of a corridor or road and plan for levels of investment and service. It does not dictate the final form or built design.
Waka Kotahi Lead Advisor Urban Mobility Claire Pascoe braves windy Wellington’s Courtenay Place to talk about the benefits of the new framework.
The evolution of the ONRC seeks to bring more granularity to the way our rural networks are classified, by better differentiating our freight routes from our general traffic routes and reflecting the specific context of our rural roads. It will allow us to better define and articulate the differences between metro, urban and rural transport needs and provide a consistent, level playing field for future investment conversations, based on locally-recognised needs rather than broad categories.
By evolving ONRC to account for these extended needs, the framework can be strengthened into something that can be used across transport and land use disciplines, increasing its relevance.
This recognises that:
Updating the ONRC will also allow for revised Customer Levels of Service and updated performance measures reflecting all land transport modes, in both urban and rural contexts, as well as surrounding land use. It will also more closely align the ONF to the Network Operating Framework (NOF), to help standardise the application of roading classifications around the country.
The ONF aims to:
Rolling out a more granular, multi-modal ‘Movement and Place’ classification and performance measures system is a core action under the draft GPS 2021–2031, Road to Zero strategy and the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Arataki and Keeping Cities Moving strategies, and aims to help achieve greater safety, wellbeing and environmental outcomes.
The ONF’s ‘Movement and Place’ classifications will support greater collaboration across planning sectors, and help improve urban form and urban mobility outcomes. This video by Waka Kotahi describes how ‘systems thinking’ will provide a step change that will help improve liveability.