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400 new or upgraded bus stops, 200km of cycleways in $350m nationwide transport package

Adam Pearse,
Publish Date
Sun, 4 Dec 2022, 3:47pm

400 new or upgraded bus stops, 200km of cycleways in $350m nationwide transport package

Adam Pearse,
Publish Date
Sun, 4 Dec 2022, 3:47pm

Almost 400 bus stops will be constructed or upgraded through a $350 million transport funding package in an effort to get Kiwis travelling in a more environmentally friendly fashion.

The Transport Choices package, first announced in May, will also lead to the development of more than 240km of cycleways, alongside more than 100 safety improvements to school areas and 11 new bus prioritisation lanes through funding spread across councils across New Zealand.

Transport Minister Michael Wood announced the details of what would be funded through the package in Auckland today.

“The ambitious Transport Choices package will help people in communities across the country get to where they need to go more safely and efficiently, and help to reduce emissions, supporting us to meet emission reduction targets as set out in the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan released in May 2022,” Wood said.

Council representatives from across the country have welcomed the Government’s support of local projects, including from the Far North, Hamilton, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Horizons, Lower Hutt, Christchurch and Dunedin.

In Christchurch, funding had gone toward creating more walkable neighbourhoods, particularly in Linwood, by linking public transport and footpath connections.

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger said the projects would help achieve a more efficient transport network while reducing emissions.

 “Staff focused on Linwood because of its proximity to the central city, its potential walking and public connections to community hubs and the number of schools in the area.

“We’re really committed to reducing our transport emissions, but also want to make it safer and easier to travel around the city’s east.”

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger. Photo / George HeardChristchurch Mayor Phil Mauger. Photo / George Heard

Far North mayor Moko Tepania was glad improvements hadn’t been limited to major centres, noting Kerikeri residents would see new cycle lanes created.

“Provincial communities often feel left out when it comes to the funding of projects like this so this is an excellent success and I look forward to seeing more,” he said.

One of the package’s flagship public transport projects was enhancing Auckland’s northwestern busway feeder route which would lead to “vastly improving travel time by providing improvements along the feeder routes to the north-western busway in Auckland and enhance existing shovel-ready investment on the busway itself”.

In Stratford in Taranaki, connectivity between schools and Whakaahurangi Marae was currently hindered by State Highway 3, which split the town in two.

Through funding from the package, Stratford District Council aimed to provide connections between the schools and the marae for those riding bikes, with the overall goal to allow students to travel safely without the need for parental supervision.

About 4km of road space would also be reallocated to connect three primary schools in the western part of Stratford’s township in a bid to increase safety.

Waka Kotahi would now work with successful councils to further refine and scope project proposals, with construction beginning on some projects by June, 2023.

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