Tauranga is growing fast. By 2063 its population is projected to have increased by almost 80,000. This means we’re going to need more houses, more schools, and more ways for people to move around the city.
Cameron Road is one of our city’s main arteries, connecting people in Tauranga’s southern suburbs to the city centre.
It is an important through route and a destination for many with schools, businesses and the hospital being located along it. As our city continues to grow, this key route will become even more important. This is why we need to make changes now.
What’s being proposed?
Thanks to funding from central government we are Futureproofing Cameron Road to
- Make Cameron Road safer
- Provide more ways to travel
- Make Cameron Road more attractive
Changes will include new part-time bus lanes, a new two-way cycleway, and improvements to make the area more walkable, attractive and community friendly. This includes native plantings that reflect the history of the area and attract bird life, spaces for the community to spend time in, and room for businesses to have more interaction with the street including outdoor dining areas for example. Existing traffic lanes will be retained. Other proposed changes include road layout changes to some of the side-road intersections connecting with Cameron Road, more pedestrian crossings and upgrades to stormwater and wastewater.
This multi-stage project will help address this growth, revitalise a key part of our city, and provide more transport options so people don’t have to be so car dependant, all things the community has said they would like.
Council was successful in securing $45million for this project from central government that was part of Crown Infrastructure Projects (CIP) Initiative to support NZ’s recovery from COVID-19. Primarily this was because the project aligns with the governments overarching objectives including supporting growth, safety, alternate transport choices and creating attractive public spaces for the community.
Creating connected communities
We have been working with the community to develop a 30-year plan for Te Papa peninsula that will provide greater housing choices, safe and efficient transport options, local amenities and the infrastructure needed to support healthy and connected communities now and in the future.
Futureproofing Cameron Road is the first project on the path to bringing this plan to life. It aligns with our City’s wider strategies, including the Urban Form Transport Initiative and Western Bay of Plenty Transport System Plan that have been endorsed by Council.
Why more lanes won’t work
The challenge is, Tauranga is made up of several narrow peninsulas that funnel traffic into key pinch points that cause traffic congestion during busy times of the day. The shape of these peninsulas and the limited space available means building more roads is not a viable solution. Knocking down homes and businesses to build roads is not only costly but also reduces the attractiveness and value of these areas, severs communities, and most of all, doesn’t fix congestion.
Instead, we need to find smarter, more space-efficient modes of transport such as public transport, cycling and walking. This is what Futureproofing Cameron Road aims to deliver.
Futureproofing Cameron Road is not a project specifically geared to ease traffic congestion for people that travel by car. However, a bonus of enabling more ways for people to travel along this route will reduce car dependency which will help improve journeys for those who travel by car.
Futureproofing Cameron Road objectives
There are three main objectives for this project:
Whether you live, work, walk, go to school, or commute along Cameron Road, we want you to be safe.
With more students, cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles using Cameron Road, there’s an increasing risk of accidents that could result in serious injuries or death. We want to reduce this so people can feel safe using Cameron Road.
We will be providing a wider range of transport options so people can choose whether to walk, cycle, use public transport or drive.
The best long-term solution to reducing congestion is creating more reliable and viable alternatives to a car. It’s also something the Te Papa peninsula community have asked for and something Central Government wants to see too. As part of the funding agreement, we must create cycle and bus lanes along with our other improvements.
A two-way cycle lane will be run along the eastern side of the road, from Harington Street to 17th Ave. While an initial ‘part-time’ bus lane will operate during morning and afternoon peak hours, allowing it to be used for parking at off peak times. Within the next ten years as usage and demand increases, the lane will transition to a dedicated bus lane.
Although we are focusing on alternative transport modes, we understand there will always be people who need to drive which is why we are not removing any car lanes.
To achieve this, we will be adding more pedestrian crossings in key areas and creating extra lanes to separate vehicles from cyclists. We will also be improving footpaths and adding more lighting.
We want to create a destination, not just a commuting corridor.
When asked what they would like to see in a future Te Papa, the community said they wanted walkable, pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods that were safe, open, clean and had places to meet. The first steps towards this future will be along Cameron Road.
Working with the local community including retailers, we will be looking at ways to improve the Cameron Road corridor. We plan to create inviting community spaces that embrace the area’s rich cultural history through the various design elements such as landscaping, wayfinding, signage, material selection, and street furniture.
Cameron Road is one of the city's oldest roads dating back to 1871. As the city grew, so did the number of pipes, drains and cables running under it. Some of these water pipes are still clay, over 100 years old, and desperately need replacing. Working with telco, gas, power and Council infrastructure teams, we will be looking to renew and upgrade the service network to meet current and future needs simultaneously.
We will be upgrading some of the underground services so the network can cope with future growth.
This project has been broken into three stages:
Stage one - is from Harington Street to the hospital, the planning and construction for this has been funded by Central Government.
Stage two - is from the hospital to Barkes Corner, and the funding for developing a business case and design was included in the grant from Central Government. We’ll be asking for your input in 2021.
Stage three - a long-term goal (pending funding) will create a connection from Barkes Corner to Tauranga Crossing in Tauriko. There are no set dates for this stage.
Replacement of wastewater pipes
Some pipes underneath Cameron Road are still made of clay and are over 100 years old. We are taking the opportunity to prepare for growth and replace and upsize the old sewer pipes before the main works above the ground on Cameron Road start later this year.
This upgrade of our wastewater assets will help to realise the Te Papa Spatial Plan, supporting more housing and business developments along the Cameron Road corridor.
Around 3 km of sewer pipes underneath Cameron Road and connecting to properties and side streets will be upgraded.
Stage One: Harington Street to Elizabeth Street
Start date: 26 July
Duration: Approximately three months
Contractors: Fulton Hogan and Downer
Stage Two: Elizabeth Street to 6th Avenue
Start date: TBC
Contractors: Fulton Hogan and Downer
Traffic will be impacted during the day and at times during off-peak hours at the section of road being worked on. Sections of the eastern side of Cameron Road and some side streets will be closed to motorists and detours will be in place. Access to businesses will be maintained.
For more information on the wastewater upgrade or to receive construction updates please contact Stakeholder Manager, Anneke Boddde, 021 828485 or Anneke.Bodde@downer.co.nz
The Futureproofing Cameron Road is part of Council's wider strategic objectives to support the city's rapid growth.
The Te Papa Spatial Plan sets the strategic direction for growth in the area from Greerton to the city centre over the next 30 years. It addresses our key challenges of population growth and housing choice, infrastructure pressure, transport options, cultural wellbeing and the local amenities needed to support our communities. It outlines the overall approach, priority areas of focus, anticipated benefits and required actions.
Between 2020 and 2024, one of the key priorities will be the planning for and delivery of key transport infrastructure to link with the wider city through stage one and two of the Cameron Road Multimodal Project and city centre interventions.
Learn more about the spatial plan
We are working with SmartGrowth, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Western Bay District Council and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency to develop a 30-year plan for the city’s transport network called the Tauranga Transport System Plan. This aims to make it easier to move around our city with a strong focus on giving people better transport options.
Right now, the rules in place for residential land make it hard for people to build more compact types of homes like duplexes and apartments. This means we're not using land as effectively as possible to accommodate our growth, and our community currently has a limited choice to build types of homes that may better suit their needs.
We are proposing changes to the Tauranga City Plan to allow people to build different types of dwellings more easily, that create both great spaces to live in and great neighbourhoods.
Learn more about the proposed changes
We are also working closely with the team implementing the Tauranga Cycle Plan. They are working towards building a connected network of cycleways throughout the city that cater to all ages and abilities. This will provide additional and safer options for people to get to around the city, whether it’s to get to work, school, exercise or take a ride with friends and family.
Project partners and stakeholders
We began our conversation with the Tangata Whenua Collective in February 2018, talking with them about our study to improve provisions for public transport, walking and cycling through the Cameron Road corridor. In early 2020 the project team began to engage with local hapū Ngai Tamarawaho and Ngati Tapu. We are looking to them for further collaboration and guidance on this project from a placemaking perspective and for how cultural aspects can be brought into the design process.
Community Liaison Group
The Community Liaison Group is made up of a group of representatives from the business community, residents, landowners and schools that are in the area of Stage one of this project.
The importance of the Community Liaison Group (CLG) is to help make sure that this community is kept up-to-date and well informed about stage one of the project. This group of 30 is helping the project design team through concept design into detailed design working through localised concerns, and developing ideas and solutions.
Council is working closely with representatives from the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, University of Waikato, Emergency services (St John’s Ambulance, NZ Fire Service and Emergency, NZ Police), Disability Advisory Group, Age Friendly, Youth Advisory Group, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Automobile Association, Road Transport Association, National Road Carriers, Bike Tauranga, NZ Bus, an active bus user, Priority One, Environment and Sustainability Forum, Smartgrowth, Ministry of Education and Tauranga City Councillors.
The Councillors for the Te Papa/Welcome Bay Ward and the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Urban Form and Transport Committee are stakeholders in this group.