INDEPENDENT NEWS

Regional Land Transport strategy gets green light

Published: Sat 21 Jul 2007 02:12 PM
MEDIA RELEASE
Regional Land Transport strategy gets green light
For immediate release: Friday July 20 2007
How will you be travelling to work in 2011? That’s one of the questions asked in the revised Regional Land Transport Strategy, which was adopted by Environment Bay of Plenty recently. The strategy sets realistic targets for increasing people’s use of public transport, cycling and walking.
It predicts that with improved services and facilities 15 percent of Rotorua’s population will either, cycle, walk or catch a bus to work in 2011. This compares with only 10 percent currently. And in Tauranga, 14 percent of the population are expected to follow suit - an increase on the eight percent who do so today.
Athole Herbert, Environment Bay of Plenty’s Regional Land Transport Committee chairman, says the strategy is vital because it plans the future rail, road, cycling, walking and public transport needs for the region.
“It ensures that we have a safe, integrated, sustainable, transport system throughout the region that caters for economic development and the public’s health needs.”
“It is also necessary to determine and secure funding for implementing transportation infrastructure and meeting our responsibilities under the Land Transport Act.”
Mr Herbert considers the strategy’s review a major achievement, requiring collaboration from all the region’s local authorities.
“We had input from interest groups and local authority representatives so were fortunate to have a wealth of expertise to draw on throughout the process.”
Mr Herbert says the public can expect walking school buses - where children are escorted to school by foot - to become more commonplace. Walking, cycling and the establishment of cycling lanes will also be promoted. And in some cities, parking fees will be raised to manage car use. Bus services, such as the Bay Hopper and Beach Runner will also offer a wider variety of bus runs to encourage increased patronage.
Such initiatives are part of the strategy’s demand management plan. This aims to provide a wider choice of travel options lessening the need to build more roads.
ends

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