Monday, April 22, 2024

Christchurch council approves land transport submission

Christchurch City Council has welcomed the opportunity to submit on the Government’s draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) 2024.

Today’s Finance and Performance Committee approved the Council’s submission on the Government’s proposed investment programme.

Earlier this month, Minister of Transport, Simeon Brown, released a draft GPS for public feedback. It replaces the draft GPS released by the former Government in August 2023 and outlines how the Government will invest in land transport over the next 10 years.

Mayor, Phil Mauger said Government investment in Christchurch’s transport network was crucial.

“Our Residents’ Survey results consistently show that the people of Christchurch want to see the quality of our roads and footpaths improve so it’s great to see the Minister’s GPS align with our views and is focused on doing the basics and doing them right,” the Mayor said. 

The Council’s submission welcomes several directions in the GPS that align well with Council’s strategic priorities.

The Council is strongly supportive of the increased strategic focus on maintenance and resilience, and welcomed directions in the GPS to align longer-term investment planning cycles and the proposed review of NZTA business case processes.

The submission requests two key transport projects are specifically included in the Canterbury investment programme – the new Pages Road Bridge and the Greater Christchurch Public Transport Future and Mass Rapid Transit.

“The Pages Road Bridge is a lifeline project that will significantly improve the ability of a well-populated coastal community in Christchurch to evacuate in the event of a catastrophic tsunami event. It is a regionally significant resilience project and we would like to see it specifically named in the GPS,” Mayor Mauger said.

“We would also like to see the Greater Christchurch Public Transport Futures and Mass Rapid Transit projects included as these are critical public transport projects which invest in improvements now to support our projected population and urban growth.”

The Council has also noted its concern about the strong state highway focus in the GPS and the broader impacts this will have on climate change targets.

The submission notes: “To address this concern, we [Council] request the Government reconsiders the balance of investment in walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure and service activity classes.”

Read Council’s full submission here.

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