Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31 - Connecting Te Tauihu
Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui (Te Tauihu) or the “Top of the South Island’, has seen significant change over the last five years.
The population has increased and development of the primary sector is resulting in a greater number of vehicles on our roads than ever before. Community values are starting to shift, which means that the environmental and social effects from more vehicles on the roads is becoming unacceptable. This conflict is realised most acutely in Picton, Blenheim, Nelson, Richmond and Motueka where the values of place and movement on our road networks coincide.
The local climate allows us to produce high quality agricultural products which are sought after nationally and around the world. In addition, secondary processing of many of these products has enabled value to be added. Most of our freight is consumed locally or sent directly overseas, which means Port Nelson and Port Marlborough, and the transport networks connecting them with our communities, are vitally important to our region. The significant growth in products produced in the region means we have more heavy vehicles using the road network, all the way from rural roads in the hinterland to the national roads within the metro areas.
This RLTP recognises that the transport network we have traditionally relied on may not be appropriate for the future. The key transport issues in Te Tauihu in the next 10 years are:
- vehicle usage growth and its effects on access
- safety on our roads
- the design of our transport system is constraining access for those wanting to use more sustainable modes
- our communities are susceptible to losing access in more frequent weather events
- vehicle usage is affecting our natural environment.