A significant milestone in transport planning will take place next week* when the Nelson Future Access (NFA) project seeks Nelson City Council support for its preferred programme to enable a final round of engagement to commence.
The NFA project is led by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) with Nelson City Council (NCC) as a key Project Partner.
The preferred programme recommends a refined version of the Priority Lanes package as the best long-term transport solution for Nelson. Priority Lanes was one of three options presented to the community in June 2020.
The Priority Lanes solution scored best overall against assessment criteria compared with the two other long-term options - the Coastal Corridor Widening Package and Inland Route Package. There was also considerable community support for the Priority Lanes Option (56%) as the option likely to be the most successful in enabling the vision for Nelson.
The key focus now is improvements that can be made before priority lanes are needed. This includes intersection improvements, walking and cycling paths, and proposed traffic calming to enhance neighbourhoods and improve safety. Pending council approval, Waka Kotahi will seek the community’s views on these measures.
Council will also hear how the project team has been able to refine the Priority Lanes package to substantially lessen the impact on both the Rocks Road and Waimea Road corridors yet still achieve the desired outcomes. Council will also hear about the proposal to improve the walking and cycling facilities around Rocks Road while improving the route’s resilience against climate change.
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says Nelson City Council is looking forward to receiving the report from Waka Kotahi. “It is essential that progress is made on improving transport options for Nelsonians and the wider region.”
Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says the proposal has been developed to meet the Government’s expectations to reduce emissions, connect communities and improve safety, and to align with Nelson City Council’s vision for the future.
It will provide the opportunity for the community to focus on the package of improvements needed for Nelson in the short and medium term.
“There is going to be some important detail for residents and commuters, with recommendations that will be designed to assist us to cope with increasing demand on the transport network in the next 10 years. The report will also detail proposed walking and cycling improvements for Rocks Road, which I’m sure the community will welcome.”
* The Council meeting starts on the morning of 11 May and will reconvene on Thursday 13 May. The NFA report is scheduled for around 11.00am on Thursday 13 May.