Thursday, November 9, 2023

Transport Choices funding pause 


Disappointment at Transport Choices funding pause 

09 November 2023

Tasman District Council is disappointed that the community could miss out on projects to improve safety for people walking or cycling following a Waka Kotahi decision to put funding on hold for its Transport Choices programme. 

Waka Kotahi has told councils that before it could follow through with commitments made to councils and other organisations, “it needs a clear direction from the incoming government on its transport investment priorities.”

Tasman Mayor Tim King says it is disappointing that it will take a bit longer to progress some of the improvements that were proposed under Transport Choices programme funding.

“We want to bring our urban street layouts into the 21st century, meaning they are safe and accessible for people who can’t or don’t drive.”

In Richmond the William Street neighbourhood upgrade, including pedestrian safety improvements at the Hill Street intersection and outside Henley School, is nearing its halfway point, while in Motueka the Pah Street improvements and the raised crossing on Old Wharf Road are progressing well.  Thankfully, Government funding is committed and secure for these works.

Transportation Manager Jamie McPherson says by making a fast start under incredibly challenging timeframes, we are already delivering some much-needed improvements around schools and recreational sites in Richmond and Motueka.  

“We are also pleased that our Streets for People programme, which is also delivering improvements for people walking and cycling in Richmond and Māpua, will continue unaffected by the Transport Choices delay.”

Mayor King says there are many different issues in the road system that all need addressing, and we look forward to working with Waka Kotahi and the Government on their signalled funding for increased road maintenance and the Hope Bypass project.

The $305 million Transport Choices programme comes out of the Climate Emergency Response Fund and is directly administered by the crown and managed by Waka Kotahi. 

No formal date has been set to review the funding situation, but there are signs it will not be until early next year.

Tasman District Council

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

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