Regional transport hearings held jointly

Better links for existing cycleways featured as of the key theme. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Better links for existing cycleways featured as of the key theme. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Environment Southland and the Otago Regional Council held hearings last week on submissions to the draft Otago Southland Regional Land Transport Plan.

Better links for existing walkways and cycleways between Southland and Otago’s communities featured as some of the key themes of the 59 submissions received, from which 22 submitters spoke to councillors in Dunedin and Invercargill.

The joint plan incorporated proposed state highway and council transport activities including roading, public transport, walking and cycling across both Southland and Otago for the next 10 years.

Environment Southland deputy chairman and Southland Regional Transport Committee (RTC) chairman Jeremy McPhail said the total number of submissions was very positive, with submitters showing strong support for the projects and themes in the plan.

"The plan focuses on maintaining the existing transport network, prioritising safety and ensuring we’re building resilience into the network.

"In addition, submitters have asked that we look at more options to improve areas we know are vulnerable to crashes and natural hazards."

Submitters also requested further investigation of other transport options for connecting communities within the two regions, and across regional boundaries.

The plan outlined investment priorities that reflected the region’s transport system needs.

Once adopted by each of the regional councils, the plan will be submitted to Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) to consider for inclusion in the National Land Transport Programme for further funding.