Maintaining Otago roads a priority

Future investment in Otago's transport network is likely to be prioritised towards maintaining the region's highways and roads, with the potential for diverting more freight options towards rail, and pushing for ongoing improvements to travel safety.

The Otago Regional Council's transport committee is charged with formulating the strategy, which will be used as a template to effectively determine spending priorities for future Otago transport projects.

A hearing is scheduled to begin at noon today in the ORC chambers in Dunedin for committee members to listen as submitters outline their proposals about what transport projects should be given funding priority over the next 30-years.

A submission from the New Zealand Transport Agency says a draft of the regional transport strategy, contains some projections about the delivery of different projects and outcomes, which "might be described as aspirational or 'stretch' mechanisms".

Some projected strategic outcomes were not clearly articulated about whether they represented good value for money, or if they were likely to be effective and affordable in the short to medium-term fiscal environment, the NZTA said.

Other submitters are pushing for a focus on improved public transport, including an investigation into the viability of passenger rail routes from Mosgiel, plus more regional commitments from local authorities to better cycling networks.

The ORC transport committee, which is made up of representatives from Otago's six local authorities and three interest groups, will then table the completed Regional Land Transport Strategy to the ORC for approval on August 3.



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