INDEPENDENT NEWS

Feedback sought on vision and principles of draft strategy

Published: Mon 11 Nov 2019 05:01 PM
A strategy to oversee the planning, investment and delivery of transport-related infrastructure in Horowhenua for the next 30 years has reached the next milestone with the release of a Vision and Transport Principles (and potential initiatives) is ready for public consideration.
A governance group which includes the New Zealand Transport Agency and Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council as key partners, was set up to lead the development of the Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy (HITS). The strategy takes into account the future Otaki to North of Levin Expressway, Council’s Long Term Plan, Manawatū Whanganui Regional Land Transport Plan and Horowhenua 2040 Growth Strategy.
The vision of the draft strategy is to provide Horowhenua with a safe, functional, innovative, integrated, multimodal and sustainable transport system that supports a thriving, healthy and growing community and enhances the visitor experience.
Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden said the strategy is relevant and timely as the next decade looks set to be dominated by worsening traffic conditions.
“We have significant population and traffic movement growth, a lack of interregional public transportation options and too few local cycling options.”
“Unfortunately, problems we have today will be acerbated by the opening of Transmission Gully next year and Ōtaki to Pekapeka Expressway the following year.”
Mayor Wanden said the Government’s decision to delay O2NL means we have to step up our efforts to make our communities safer and more liveable and the HITS strategy will help us to do that.
Principal Policy Advisor Cynthia Ward said the strategy vision and transport principles were created after more than 500 residents took part in a public survey, a series of stakeholder and partner meetings were held, and discussions with neighbouring authorities.
“Essentially, HITS is a strategy that aims to allow Horowhenua to take concerted purposive action in terms of transport,” said Mrs Ward. “It will help give effect to the objectives of the Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 and Levin Town Centre Strategy while supporting the investment in increasing public transport options.”
Mrs Ward said the purpose of the engagement process is to seek public, stakeholder and partner feedback to see if we’ve got the focus right and to start a conversation about our focus going forward.
“There are many initiatives that will need to be undertaken, some we can do ourselves and others that will require NZTA and Horizons Regional Council funding or support. We need to hear from the public as to what is most important in their minds so that we can focus on those areas as we work towards achieving a safer, productive, user friendly transportation network with increased options for our residents to get around.
Feedback on the vision and principles is welcome from 11 November 2019 through to 6 December 2019. In the new year, the draft strategy will go to Council for adoption, along with a Transport Action Plan that will highlight Council’s area of focus in the short, medium and long term.

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