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 also an important destination for many with schools, businesses and the hospital being located along it. But as our city continues to grow, Cameron Road will become more congested, more dangerous and less attractive. As time goes on, the cost to fix these issues will also increase, which is why we want to act now.
We have been working with the Te Papa peninsula community to develop a 30-year blueprint 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.
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 the futureproofing Cameron Road project aims to deliver.
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. However, that funding came with some strict conditions around delivery timeframes as well as fixing some elements of the scope, to assure the project objectives align with government. The parts of the project that are fixed by central government funding criteria include:
- retaining existing traffic lanes (two lanes each way)
- installing additional part-time bus lanes, both sides
- installing a bi-directional cycleway, eastern side.
We recognise that having these elements fixed, impacts the extent to which we can consult on this project. In saying that, the project is well aligned with Council’s wider strategies, including the Te Papa Spatial Plan, Urban Form Transport Initiative and Tauranga Transport System Plan that have been endorsed by Council.
Although some parts of the project scope are fixed, we are seeking input from the community regarding a range of other project elements through the design and development phases.
This $45million grant is a great opportunity for Council to improve our City, otherwise that funding would have gone to another Council.
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.
To meet the Government’s funding agreement, stage one has been fast tracked, however, we will still be working with the community to make sure they are able to help shape the future of Cameron Road.
- February 2021
Community information sessions to inform, educate and listen to your views on the design of stage one.
- April/May 2021
Feedback collated and detailed design completed.
- May/June 2021
Early works commence to relocate underground services and prepare the road for construction activities later in the year. This will be carried out in sections to minimise construction disruption. This will be determined during detailed design by the contractor. Early contractor involvement will help minimise disruption and maximise efficient delivery. The contractor will also provide dedicated on-the-ground engagement staff during the construction period to liaise directly with all local and affected businesses/ landlords/ residents.
- July/August 2021
Construction planning, information sharing and early works continue.
Complete detailed design and tender the main construction works.
- August 2021
Main construction works commences. Staging of consrtuction will be determined through the detailed design process.
- September 2021 - October 2023
Construction of main road upgrade and underground service renewal works.
- October 2023
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.
How can I get involved?
Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook. We will keep you up to date on what’s happening and when you can have your say about the project.
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Last Reviewed: 17/12/2020