Horizons Regional Council is welcoming feedback on its mid-term review of the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP), which outlines the future of land transport projects and investment for the next 10 years.
Regional Transport Committee chair, Rachel Keedwell said land transport includes everything from private vehicles to freight, and commercial vehicles to cyclists and rail networks.
“Horizons develops the plan with the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi and city and district councils around the region, who put forward their transport activities and agree on the investment priorities for the region to align with what we believe users need from our land transport network,” she says.
“Mid-term reviews occur three years into the 10-year life of a plan, with the aim of checking that it remains fit-for-purpose and valid. The current plan has been in place since 2021 and aims to be ambitious in its goals.
“This mid-term review focuses on reflecting the changing focus on what is considered important for our transport system, what funding is available, and how we invest that funding to achieve our goals.
“In the proposed updates to the plan there is more focus on maintaining and renewing the current transport system, while also improving the resilience of the system and its environmental impacts. As land transport affects how people and products move across our region, we want to know what people think of the proposed updates to the RLTP by Monday 11 March.”
There are 25 total projects included in the updated plan, with some already in progress and others seeking initial funding through this mid-term review.
“Some projects which are looking for funding through this mid-term review include a dedicated cycleway bridge alongside the current Manawatū River bridge on SH3 outside Ashhurst, development of a shared pathway network between Palmerston North and Feilding, and replacement of the Matahiwi Suspension Bridge near Waimarino, to name a few,” said Cr Keedwell.
“Current projects such as the Te Ahu a Turanga, Manawatū-Tararua Highway and the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway are ongoing and have been funded through previous versions of this plan.
“Even though these projects are already well underway, we still want to know what our communities think are important areas for investment over the next 10 years of the region’s land transport planning.”
She said the focus on providing more transport options and improving the safety of the transport system remained.
“Our overarching investment priority for this plan is resilience and climate change, so we want to ensure all of the proposed activities fit with this priority in some way. The remaining three priorities are connectivity and access, better travel options, and safety.”
“We want to ensure the areas of investment via the proposed activities work to benefit all road users in some way. I would encourage ratepayers, road users, interested groups and organisations to have their say on the draft plan before the submission period ends on Monday 11 March.
“Submissions made to the consultation are public, and those who submit can opt to speak to their submission at public hearings held in April, conducted by the Regional Transport Committee.
“By contributing to this consultation, you are helping shape the future of land transport in our region over the next 10 years. Feedback is sought every three years for these plans, but if you wish to share your opinion outside of consultation periods, you are always welcome to email the Transport team anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Formal submission to the review can be made online here.