Tasman and Nelson residents are being asked for their feedback on an emerging programme of work that looks at ways to improve transport issues in rapidly growing Richmond – Tasman district’s largest population centre and one of the fastest growing.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the Tasman District Council are working together on a business case to address Richmond transport needs over the next 30 years.
The Richmond Transport Programme Business Case (PBC) focuses on making Richmond a safer and more reliable place to travel around by offering everyone improved transport choices, whether you are driving, walking, cycling or taking the bus.
Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships, Emma Speight says this PBC is an important step towards helping address current and future transport issues within and around the Richmond area.
“In recent years we have seen an increase in the amount of traffic and businesses using local roads within Richmond and an increase in commercial vehicles passing through to Nelson and freight going to the Port.
“The business case looks to address these issues, while ensuring the cycling and walking paths, roads, and public transport can deal with this growth, so Richmond is a more connected place that is easy to live in and travel around,” says Ms Speight.
She acknowledged the current post-flood conditions in the wider region and surrounding hard-hit districts would be uppermost in people’s thoughts.
“However, we would like to ensure that people have time to consider and respond to these proposals, and are able to attend the workshops that start next week. Feedback is open until 13 August, and we encourage everyone who lives, works and travels through the area to have their say over the next four weeks.”
Investigations have found that people in Richmond tend to rely on cars for short trips, and are choosing not to walk, bike or take a bus. Roads around Richmond’s shops, homes and schools are also congested, making it feel unsafe and unpleasant to walk or bike.
“The PBC is one of the steps towards getting funding for the projects and ensuring that the right transport solutions are identified. We are looking forward to hearing from the community to see what they think about what we are proposing,” says Ms Speight.
“We are fulfilling an essential part of our growth planning by being part of this programme’s development,” says Tasman District Council’s Community Infrastructure Manager Richard Kirby.
“As we grow and evolve from being a rural support town not that long ago to being one of the fastest growing urban areas in the region, if not the country, we need to take account of the transportation choices available to people and the impact and needs of those choices in planning for denser communities.”
The PBC is aligned to national and regional transport strategies, and seeks to:
The work completed on the PBC to date has identified an emerging programme of transport options that could be delivered over the short, medium and long-term to deliver these outcomes.
Tasman District Council are also finalising or developing plans and strategies that align with the Richmond PBC. These include:
“The Council is currently developing a Walking and Cycling Strategy, a regional speed management plan and updating the District Plan. These will reflect the business case and we will carry out separate public engagement on these plans and strategies in the near future,” says Mr Kirby.
Feedback on the Richmond Transport Programme Business Case is open until Friday 13 August 2021.
Waka Kotahi and the Council are encouraging Tasman and Nelson residents to come and talk more about the project at community drop-in sessions:
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