Transport plans for Chch due

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 15/11/2012

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The future shape of Christchurch's transport network will become clearer over the next few days as two key agencies announce their plans on how to get people moving around the city.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) will today unveil its draft transport plan for the central city, and Environment Canterbury (ECan) on Monday will announce the details of its public transport network shake-up.

The CCDU has spent the past three months working on transport options for the central business district and its plan is likely to capture many of the ideas included in the city council's central-city recovery plan, which focused heavily on creating a pedestrian and cycle-friendly inner city.

It also proposed converting the existing one-way streets to two-way, but it is unclear whether the CCDU has picked up on that idea.

CCDU director Warwick Isaacs told The Press in late September that the jury was still out on the future of the one-way street system and it was likely that some would go and some would stay.

Other key features of the CCDU's transport plan are likely to include the creation of a slow core within the CBD where traffic will be limited to speeds of under 30kmh, and the introduction of bus priority measures to improve the efficiency and reliability of public transport.

On Monday, ECan will announce sweeping changes to the city's bus networks, which it says are the start of a new direction in public transport.

Bus passenger numbers have been declining in Christchurch and the earthquakes have dramatically affected some bus services.

ECan this year released for public consultation a draft plan that proposed introducing a "hubs and spokes network".

At the moment buses travel from most suburbs to the central city, resulting in duplication of bus routes on major corridors such as Papanui Rd.

Even in peak hours, this means buses often have too few passengers, which is not an efficient, cost-effective use of resources.

ECan says its proposed bus network will make it easier to travel from one place to another across the city as well as to the central city.

High-frequency services will link major destinations across Christchurch, supported by bus routes that connect to key suburban hubs.

The suburban hubs will be developed at major suburban centres, such as Papanui, Riccarton, Barrington and Eastgate.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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