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Hawke's Bay transport plans 'show forward thinking'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council today adopted the region’s Land Transport, and Public Transport plans which prioritise core projects and investment over the coming ten years.

Regional Transport Committee chair and HBRC Councillor Alan Dick was pleased with the work behind these plans and the focus they deliver to improve transport and connectivity outcomes for Hawke’s Bay.

"Funding already secured will see the Whakatu arterial route, the Expressway on Pakowhai and Links Roads intersection, and SH2-Napier Road intersection shortly be actioned. Those projects alone will greatly improve safety and transport connections for private individuals and commercial operators," says Alan Dick.

"In previous plans, there was a focus on moving freight and people over the Heretaunga Plains, but this Land Transport plan in particular has a marked emphasis on inter-regional connectivity combined with activities of inter-regional significance," he adds.

A 50% increase of freight volumes is anticipated over the next 25 years, with a spotlight on State Highway 2 north of Napier, where projected forestry harvests have potential to activate the currently mothballed rail line.

"I’m pleased with the work that has been done to bring these two plans to the table - with a Regional Cycle Plan closely behind - to achieve strong interaction and integration of all transport modes while considering future growth and known developments," adds Councillor Dick.

Councillor Dick also noted changes to the funding model used by NZTA, which will no longer fund regional improvements through our own Regional Transport Committee. Future transport projects in Hawke’s Bay will now compete for funds against other provincial regions.

The Regional Public Transport Plan supports consolidation of the network as it is, with incremental improvements to be made where possible. These will include minor improvements to bus infrastructure, ticketing systems and Total Mobility services.

The Regional Land Transport Plan 2015-25 and the Regional Public Transport Plan 2015-25 were adopted unanimously.

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