Greater Wellington to adopts ambitious regional transport plan
The 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) was adopted by Greater Wellington at today’s regional council meeting.
The RLTP integrates transport planning the region, outlines the strategic direction for transport and details transport investment planned for the next six years in the context of consistency with the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.
“This is a timely plan and a great day for a region looking ahead at the fundamental role of transport in regional development and its role in climate change mitigation”, says Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter.
“The plan will move us towards a safer and more sustainable transport network. It provides for efficient connections that make it easier to move people and freight, and has a direct impact on making the region a desirable place in which to live and work.”
But with regional transport emissions continuing to grow the plan also focuses on the climate change-related issues of decarbonising transport and encouraging a shift from cars to public or active modes of transport,
“We have increased the plan’s emissions reduction target to align with advice from the Climate Change Commission and with feedback from the community to be more ambitious on addressing climate change,” says Greater Wellington deputy chair and chair of the Regional Transport Committee, Adrienne Staples.
The plan’s 30 year vision is for greater Wellington to become a connected region with safe, accessible and liveable spaces, where people can easily, safely and sustainably access the places that matter to them, where goods are moved efficiently, sustainably and reliably.
Its three 10 year headline targets are a 35 percent reduction in transport-generated carbon emissions (up from the initially proposed 30 per cent); a 40 percent increase in the share of journeys which use active and public transport; and a 40 percent reduction in deaths and serious injuries on the region’s roads;
In a staged approach to meeting these targets, over the next three years significant investment will be prioritised in five areas: making walking, cycling and public transport a safe and attractive option for more trips; building public transport capacity and reliability; improving access to key destinations including the port, airport and hospitals; improving safety and building greater resilience into the transport network.
Key areas of activity include increasing long haul and regional rail capacity, progressing a national ticketing system, implementing the Wellington state highway Road to Zero programme and building resilience into the regional transport network.
“This is a bold plan that looks out decades into the future. It will be integral to how we live. It deals with how we connect with each other, stay safe on and around the roads, design connected but compact communities, and meet the challenge of climate change. It is a fundamental blueprint for the future, an antidote to urban sprawl, and rising congestion and emissions,” says Adrienne Staples.
The RLTP is a statutory document developed by the Regional Transport Committee, which comprises members from Greater Wellington, KiwiRail and Waka Kotahi and mayors from territorial authorities within the region, and endorsed by Greater Wellington.
It has no inherent funding and provides the platform for the region’s bids for funding from the National Land Transport Fund. Project funding is contingent on its inclusion in the RLTP and must pass Waka Kotahi’s business case and other funding approval processes, as well as council long-term plan processes, before it is awarded.