As our city grows, it is important we continue to upgrade our transport infrastructure to meet the needs of our communities. Tauranga City Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have embarked on two projects to help plan for the future of our transport system.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley says while a lot of residents want existing roads to be widened so they can carry more cars, this is not a long-term solution for the city. “We want to ensure we have a range of ways people can use our transport system, which means providing for public transport and other active transport modes, as well as building better connected roads,” she explains. “It’s essential that we have a balanced approach which takes all community needs into consideration.”
These latest projects are business cases which focus on two crucial corridors in Tauranga’s transport network: Cameron Road Stage Two (from 17th Avenue to Pyes Pa, excluding Barkes Corner) and Fifteenth Avenue to Welcome Bay out to Ranginui Road. A further business case is getting underway for the SH2 Hewletts Road corridor.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Regional Manager System Design Jess Andrew says for Tauranga to thrive, people need to be able to move around easily and have a range of choices about how they get to work, connect with family and friends and access services. “We need to build a modern transport system with a mix of reliable transport options that help keep people and products moving safely,” she says.
Tauranga City Council’s Director of Transport Brendan Bisley explains these projects (part of the Western Bay Transport System programme) are an important next step to support growth in the Te Papa peninsula, the planned growth and transport improvements in Tauriko, and improve public transport reliability for people travelling from Welcome Bay.
“A priority is to reduce the need for people to use single occupancy vehicles and make it easier and safer to travel by bus, walking or cycling. This work will also build on the construction now underway along Cameron Road,” says Brendan. “The Urban Form and Transport Initiative gave the Western Bay partners a vision, the Western Bay of Plenty Transport System Plan has given us the 10 to 30-year programme, and it’s really pleasing to see these planning steps get underway so we can start to deliver improvements that people are wanting to see across our networks.”
Over the next six months, we will be asking our partners, mana whenua, stakeholders and people living in Te Papa (including Greerton, Gate Pa, Merivale and the Avenues), Pyes Pa, Welcome Bay and Maungatapu what they think about future transport options, to help build a clear picture of the best solutions and discuss what impact those solutions could have on their sense of community.
Once the business cases are completed, they will be used to help seek funding from central Government, and, if successful, we can progress with detailed design, in close collaboration with mana whenua, partners, stakeholders and the community.
For more information about these projects, or how to get involved, contact us at:
Cameron Road (17th Avenue to Pyes Pa) – www.tauranga.govt.nz/cameronroad
Fifteenth Avenue to Welcome Bay – www.tauranga.govt.nz/welcomebay
The construction work underway through the Building our future – Cameron Road, Te Papa Stage 1 project has received funding of $45M from the Government’s IRG COVID Recovery Fund.