Monday, April 22, 2024

Draft regional land transport plan opens for consultation

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Transport Committee has approved a draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP), which is now open for public consultation until 14 April.

The draft plan proposes investing more than $5.5 billion over the next 10 years in the region’s transport to rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle and increase resilience. 

Regional Transport Committee Chair and Regional Councillor, Martin Williams says, “This RLTP was developed in the year following the Cyclone and focuses on maintaining and rebuilding our transport system. While we do this we also need to be planning and investing for the future. We need to ensure our transport system is resilient, has strong connections, and has genuine and efficient transport choices.”

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazelhurst says, “We have worked very hard as a region to highlight our priorities, and this plan shows the direction of our investment for the next ten years. It’s great to share this consultation document with our community, the priorities for which have been heavily influenced by Cyclone Gabrielle.”
 
“The cyclone event showed the fragility of our roading network and highlighted the pressing need to restore it as quickly as possible to enable our economic recovery. It also emphasises the need for a four-lane expressway to improve connectivity between Napier and Hastings.” 

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council land transport portfolio lead Councillor, Kate Taylor says the proposed plan makes it clear a resilient and reliable roading network, particularly in productive rural areas such as Central Hawke’s Bay, is key to supporting economic productivity.

“Producers need to know their product will be able to get to where it needs to go. The plan recognises Central Hawke’s Bay roads have a critical role in unlocking the economic drivers of the region, including CHB’s own farmers and growers as well as the growing number of logs coming from our southern neighbours,” she said.

Cr Taylor said it was great to see one of the proposed low-cost, low-risk projects is the long-awaited completion of the shared pathway between Waipawa and Waipukurau.

“Napier City Council Cr Keith Price says, “This plan provides an excellent representation of challenges facing Napier and Hawke’s Bay, and gives appropriate priority to the key responses to those challenges: the rebuild following Cyclone Gabrielle and being able to invest significantly more into the maintenance and renewal of our transport assets, to make up for historical under-investment and to ensure our networks are robust and resilient.”

“With funding being available where it is most needed, we are able to improve safety for all users, reduce the disruption caused by reactive maintenance works and secure better value-for-money by optimising interventions. This will help ensure we reduce the risk of our community ever being cut off again from emergency and essential lifelines and that’s something that deserves full support from all of us.”

The Plan, FAQs, and all supporting information can be found here.

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