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  •   What is the Nelson Future Access (NFA) Project?

    The concept of improving access through Nelson has a long history. Over the past 30 years there have been many investigations that have considered how to improve travel in Nelson. The most recent pieces of work include the application for a Southern Link Road in 2000 and 2004, the North Nelson to Brightwater Corridor Strategic Study in 2007, the Nelson Arterial Traffic Study in 2010–2011 and the Nelson Southern Link Programme Business Case in 2017.

    Ensuring an efficient and reliable transport network is vital to Nelson’s export-led economy and improving community access to Nelson’s environment and amenities.

    The Nelson Future Access project is a continuation of work to address economic efficiency, safety and resilience issues on the transport network. As part of a detailed business case, the current project will help develop proposals to provide for Nelson’s current and future transport needs. The state highway is crucial for primary industry and export trade growth in the region, particularly as there is no regional rail network to use as an alternative transport solution.

    It will recognise community aspirations for a thriving CBD; a world-class waterfront; a healthy environment; and a safe, accessible and resilient transport system.

  •   Why do we need a change to the transport system in Nelson?

    We want to ensure that Nelson’s transport system supports the future of this city. This project is aligned with Nelson City Council’s priorities around infrastructure, the environment and city centre development, as well as the focus on urban intensification identified in the Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy. We are also working to achieve the goals of the Government, which place greater focus on safety, accessibility, resilient and liveable cities, and the environment.

  •   What stage is the project up to?

    The project team is on a month-long process of consultation with the Nelson community (from late June to late July 2020). This will include community information sessions and opportunities to provide written feedback in relation to the packages of potential solutions being investigated.

    The feedback gathered will help the project team to decide which package of improvements or combination of packages will best address transport issues in Nelson over the next 30 years.

    View online feedback(external link)

  •   What will be covered by the detailed business case?

    The detailed business case provides an opportunity to ensure the proposed long-term investment programme is well aligned with the Government’s key transport priorities. The detailed business case will:

    • consider continued and increasing growth pressures in the wider study area
    • consider how to support all users of Nelson’s transport system, including how to reduce the need to travel by private vehicles
    • clearly define the future roles and functions of the transport network including SH6 Rocks Road and Waimea Road
    • make the best use of existing infrastructure and services as well as new and emerging technologies
    • consider the merits of carrying out any walking and cycling improvements to Rock Road ahead of other longer-term transport investments
    • seek to resolve long standing uncertainty around a possible new arterial route (Nelson Southern Link).
  •   When will this work be completed?

    The detailed business case will be completed by early 2021. The business case will inform the development of Nelson’s 2021–24 Regional Land Transport Plan and the 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme.

  •   Are you progressing improvements for walking and cycling on Rocks Road first?

    The original scope of the Nelson Future Access project aimed to accelerate the identification of a short/medium term SH6 Rocks Road walking and cycling facility. As investigations of the Rocks Road corridor have progressed it has become apparent that the aging of the sea wall, sea level rise and the long-term function of Rocks Road need to be better understood. Rocks Road walking and cycling is still a priority, but the programme has been revised to consider how this facility would fit with longer term planning.

  •   How much will this work cost?

    A total of $3 million has been allocated from the 2018–21 National Land Transport Programme for the Nelson Future Access investment programme. This includes 3 components:

    1. Confirming the activities that can be delivered during 2018–21 to improve safety and accessibility in isolation of the wider investigation
    2. A detailed business case that will recommend a package of investments consistent with the Government’s land transport priorities
    3. A single-stage business case that will investigate the merits of carrying out walking and cycling improvements to SH6 Rocks Road ahead of other longer-term transport investments.
  •   Which areas are covered by the project?

    The red area in the figure below reflects where project partners believe there are significant opportunities to improve the transport system in and around the SH6 Rocks Road and Waimea Road corridors.

    The purple area represents the broader area of land use and travel demand that influences the issues and opportunities within the red project area.

    Area of project to the right shown in red, area of interest to the left shown in blue.

  •   The Nelson Southern Link  project was rejected by the Environment Court in 2004, could this happen again?

    Lessons can be learnt from Environment Court findings, particularly in regard to process and dealing with previous community concerns and environmental effects. This investigation is working through a robust process which involves the community. Also, although one of the packages under consideration is similar to the previous Nelson Southern Link proposal, it also has differences (eg, it could be configured as a priority route for buses and vehicles with multiple occupants). The project team is working hard to ensure options are appropriately analysed and considered and that future plans meet the requirements of the Resource Management Act. At this point in the investigation, we are asking the community to help us decide which long-term transport package or combination of packages will work best for Nelson and the region before we work out the finer details associated with minimising community concerns and environmental effects.

    Background: The Nelson Southern Link Investigation was a piece of work that investigated options for a route connecting the state highway from Whakatu Drive to QEII Drive. It was progressed by Transit in the early 2000’s and again more recently as part of the previous government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Package for state highway projects.

  •   How will carbon emissions be reduced?

    Elements within the short-term package of measures will encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking and ride sharing. All packages support the urban intensification proposed in the Nelson Future Development Strategy. This puts people closer to the places they need to go. Some of the long-term packages under consideration also include measures like prioritised lanes, which can encourage use of public transport and potentially reduce carbon emissions.

  •   What’s the breakdown on cost for each of the packages and who would pay?

    High-level estimated costs have been indicated for each package.

    • Short-term option = $150m–$190m
    • Priority Lanes Package = $220m–$250m
    • Coastal Corridor Widening Package = $500m–$540m
    • Inland Route Package = $190m–$220m. A cut and cover underpass at the Toi Toi and St Vincent Street intersection would add an extra $30 to $40M.

    Funding will only be sought once a single draft proposal is decided. Funding will most likely come through a mix of local and central government funding.

  •   How is this different to previous work on transport improvements in Nelson?

    Under the umbrella of the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, Waka Kotahi and Nelson City Council have an opportunity to build on previous work and take a broader perspective of the potential for the transport system. The objective is to provide a transport system to deliver on Nelson’s vision for a smart city with a vibrant CBD and to achieve the current goals of the government, which place greater focus on safety, accessibility, resilient and liveable cities and the environment.

  •   How does this project integrate with the Nelson Public Transport Review?

    The public transport review is a joint Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council investigation. It is looking at improvements to public transport services and infrastructure across a wide area, from Hira and the Glen in the north to Wakefield in the south and Motueka in the west. The two project teams are working together to share technical information and community insights to ensure the respective projects build on each other’s work.

  •   What are the key physical characteristics of each package?
      Short-term Options Priority Lanes Coastal Corridor Widening Inland Route
    Characteristics Public transport, walking and cycling improvements. No new road capacity, optimisation of existing road capacity, speed measures, travel demand management, safety. Peak hour clearways for certain types of vehicles on SH6 and Waimea Road and Rutherford Street. Widening of the state highway to four permanent lanes of traffic and associated parking. A new route along the old railway reserve and St Vincent Street.
    Land use changes A more compact urban form including people living in the CBD.
    Seawall raised for sea level rise and extended by: 0m 5–7m 10–12m 3–5m
    Width of Rock Road walking and cycling facility No change 5m 5m 5m
    Impact on parking on SH6 No change Available in off-peak direction only. Existing parking retained. Changes and trade-offs to accommodate 5.0m walk cycle facility.
    Impact on parking on Waimea Changes and trade-offs to accommodate cycle facility. Available in off-peak direction only. Existing parking retained. No change.


  •   When will you be talking more with specific landowners?

    Once a preferred package, and the short-term options associated with that package, have been identified and agreed with the project partners – likely to be early to mid-2021. Keep in mind that the timing of this work will depend on funding availability and other nationwide funding priorities. If the Transport Agency requires a property to construct a state highway project, purchase is done in accordance with the Public Works Act 1981. The Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) website has information on this process for property owners(external link). We cannot comment on whether you should or should not purchase property in any given area. Nor can we comment on the future value of any property.


Rocks Road walking and cycling

Short-term Options Package

  •   What are the short-term options?

    We want all our packages to include these basic elements:

    • Core cycling and pedestrian improvements to support land-use intensification, connect routes, and encourage more people to walk and cycle, which is better for their health and the environment (lower carbon) and take advantage of the emerging micro mobility trends such as ebikes.
    • Public transport improvements including ticketing and service improvements.
    • Local area traffic calming measures to make our streets safer and our neighbourhoods more liveable.
    • Intersection upgrades to support better vehicle movement including prioritisation of buses.
    • Speed management on parts of the network to make our neighbourhoods vibrant places to live and safer for people walking and cycling.
    • Revising parking and public transport fares to encourage walking, cycling and using the bus.
    • Marketing and promotion of different ways to travel to work and school.

    Below are maps showing a first draft of walking and cycling connections. In the next stage of the project, we will focus on further refining these plans to support the preferred long-term package. Note: some of the network shown in both maps is already constructed or under construction.


Priority Lanes Package

Coastal Corridor Widening Package

  •   Why is the coastal corridor widening package so expensive?

    An assessment of costs has to take account of possible property and/or property frontage acquisition, intersection upgrades and works associated with working in a difficult coastal environment. Please note, no package has been selected at this investigative stage – please see property questions and answers.


Inland Route Package

  •   Wouldn’t a road here reduce air quality in the community?

    Air quality is generally poorer in areas with high traffic volumes when compared to low traffic volume areas. The effects of more traffic on air quality along the inland route, where air quality already exceeds guidelines several times a year, would be difficult to mitigate initially. Over time the impact could reduce as more people purchase electric vehicles and vehicles become more fuel efficient and less polluting.