Council puts up $8b transport plan

Public input is being sought over a proposed $8 billion investment in  Waikato’s land transport system.

The Regional Transport Committee plan sets out how the region’s land transport system will be developed over the next 30 years.

Significant projects in the draft include:

• Completing the Waikato Expressway and advocating for its extension from Cambridge to Piarere, as well as other state highway resilience projects such as SH1 Bulli Point at Taupō and the Awakino Gorge on SH3.

• Significant road safety improvements through the Road to Zero Programme around the region, with a package of works to address speed management around schools

• Funding for operating and enhancing the Te Huia passenger rail service between Waikato and Auckland.

“This plan will position the region well to make the transformative changes that are needed to provide for our growing and diverse communities,” said Waikato regional councillor and committee chair Hugh Vercoe.

“Ultimately, the committee wants to make sure our transport system is as sustainable, safe and accessible as possible, where no-one is killed or seriously injured,” Cr Vercoe said.

“We’ve signalled a 34 per cent increase in investment from our last plan in 2018, which includes a huge leap in funding for walking and cycling activities, as well as big increases for road maintenance.”

Cr Vercoe said the plan prioritises “providing for the access and mobility needs of our communities, including facilitating a future integrated land use and transport system to provide for our growing Hamilton-Waikato metro spatial area”.

Consultation on the draft plan has opened and will close on March 21. For more information go to www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/rltp.

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