Tauranga City Council has today moved to develop a Transport System Network Plan (TSNP), to understand, design and test solutions to some of the city’s key road network problems.
The TSNP will supplement the work being undertaken by the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) and will initially focus on the identification of options to manage transport issues and to improve access to alternative transport modes on key corridors and parts of the network.
General Manager of Strategy and Growth Christine Jones says the approach used is similar to models implemented in Auckland and Wellington and will be developed in collaboration with UFTI partners, including the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and the NZ Transport Agency.
UFTI and TSNP
UFTI will provide strategic direction for urban form and transport matters at a sub-regional level. It will also look at the main corridors in Tauranga and identify their primary purpose. This will include considering the often competing demands for people and freight movement in the same corridors and how these could be managed across the network. Additionally UFTI will develop high-level recommendations for implementation for the short (1-10yrs), medium (10-30yrs), and long terms (30-50yrs).
“The TSNP will define what this could look like on the ground, at a key place or part of the network” says Ms Jones.
“Running the two work-streams in parallel, and ensuring they are seamlessly integrated through the UFTI collaboration, means that they can positively influence each other and contribute to better community outcomes,” she says.
The TSNP will take the UFTI strategic direction, purpose and recommendations and develop, test and design solutions for the city’s main transportation issues, so that the feasible options can be discussed with the community and included in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan and the Transport Agency’s 2021-24 Regional Land Transport Plan. To achieve this timeframe, council staff will need robust and well-tested options ready for Council consideration by the second half of 2020.
TSNP priorities will include identifying solutions for the Turret Road/15th Avenue/Route K corridor and the Hewletts Road/Maunganui Road/Totara Street sub-area. These are particular pressure points in the network or areas that were identified by UFTI as near-term projects to be developed in parallel to UFTI.
Funding and resourcing
Based on other projects which have required similar levels of analysis, the cost of delivering the Transport System Network Plan is estimated at $2.5-3.0 million. Tauranga City Council is now working with the Transport Agency to develop the scope of the project and the opportunity for National Land Transport Fund co-investment. The net cost involved for the council will be loan-funded in the 2019/20 year and repaid over a 10-year period. Future costs will be included in Annual Plan and Long Term Plan budgets.
“Designing and delivering an efficient transport network is one of the most significant issues facing Tauranga and in light of recent criticism of transport project outcomes, we are also reviewing and reshaping the council’s transport functions to build our capability and capacity in project management,” Ms Jones adds.
The additional resourcing required by the transport activity will be provided from current funding sources, with any shortfall met by reallocating existing budgets, where possible.