Public to have a say on Better Travel Choices strategy and managing speeds

Taranaki people are being urged to have their say on the future of transport in the region including changes to speed limits on local roads and public transport improvements such as a proposed new bus to New Plymouth Airport.

Feedback is being sought by the four Taranaki councils as part of their ‘The Road Ahead’ community conversation running from 18 September to 29 October, with the public’s views set to shape key transport strategies.

An interactive map will show all the proposed speed limit changes as New Plymouth District Council, Stratford District Council and South Taranaki District Council consult on their Speed Management Plans.

Meanwhile, Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) is seeking views on a new Better Travel Choices for Taranaki strategy which looks at how to get more people walking or cycling and what improvements to the bus network could be made including proposals for an airport bus service and a boost for bus links to Taranaki Base Hospital.

“We know more people want to get active and use our buses from previous feedback so now we need to nail down what improvements we can make to make this happen,” says TRC Chair Charlotte Littlewood.

“We want as many people as possible to get involved as your feedback will be vital in shaping these policies and how we fund road transport over the next decade. For Taranaki Regional Council, your views on active and sustainable travel will help us to shape a strategy that will get more people on our buses and plan how we can improve access to walking and cycling for everyone.”

Neil Volzke, Chair of the Taranaki Mayoral Forum and Stratford District Mayor, says Waka Kotahi requires councils, as road controlling authorities, to develop speed management plans every three years, and that it’s important people have their say on what’s being proposed in Taranaki.

“The proposals to lower some speed limits across the region will have a huge impact on everybody, from our residents to our organisations and businesses. It’s vital that we get the balance right between safety and road user convenience, and I encourage everyone in Taranaki to take part in the discussion.”

Following the community conversation, the feedback will be used to finalise the Better Travel Choices for Taranaki strategy and the three Speed Management Plans. TRC will then use these as building blocks when the next Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) for Taranaki is developed and there will be a chance for the public to have their say on that plan in early 2024.

The RLTP will be a key strategic document for the region as it will set out land transport objectives, policies, and measures for at least 10 financial years and will be signed off by Waka Kotahi in mid-2024.

To take part, head here(external link). There are four $100 Prezzy Card up for grabs for those taking part in each of the four surveys. For information on the previous transport consultation, click here(external link).

The road ahead: Putting together a plan for transport in Taranaki

  • March-April 2023: Feedback was gathered on public transport, cycling and walking, the long-term vision for transport and road safety and speed management
  • 18 September to 29 October 2023: Public consultation on district councils’ speed management plans and Better Travel Choices for Taranaki strategy.
  • 16 February-15 March 2024: Public consultation on Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP).
  • 18 April 2024: Hearings to finalise RLTP.
  • 30 April 2024: RLTP submitted for approval by Waka Kotahi.
  • 1 July 2024: RLTP comes into effect.