30-year network plan set to get city moving

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2012

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A "big picture" 30-year plan for improving Christchurch's transport network has been signed off by the city council.

The newly adopted Christchurch Transport Strategic Plan maps the council's plans to keep Christchurch moving over the next three decades.

It emphasises making the city more cycle-friendly.

However, cycle advocates had been concerned that many cycling projects included in a draft of the plan are not scheduled for implementation for many years.

Councillors have now addressed this by instructing the council's environment and infrastructure committee to identify four or five key cycling projects that can be brought forward.

In another change, councillors have voted to approach Environment Canterbury and the NZ Transport Agency about establishing a joint working party to address issues of governance, planning and funding of public transport in Christchurch.

Cr Sue Wells, who chaired the subcommittee that considered the public submissions on the draft strategy, said the public had been overwhelmingly supportive of the proposals in the plan.

The only complaint was over the speed at which the proposals would be implemented.

"This is a really cool plan - a go-forward plan," Wells said.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said adoption of the plan was a significant step for the council because it would ensure Christchurch recovered from the earthquakes and developed an effective transport network.

"The rebuild provides a rare opportunity for Christchurch to transform the way the city moves and how our transport system performs," Parker said.

"We will have the ability to improve travel choice by creating safe environments, easy pedestrian crossings and an attractive public transport infrastructure.

"At the same time, we have the opportunity to strengthen regional connections to the central city, build increased resilience to our infrastructure and deliver reliable freight connections to the ports and freight hubs," he said.

Cr Tim Carter said he had some reservations about the draft plan but was happy with the finalised version, which demonstrated a really strong commitment to cycling: "It is something the council, in this term, has repeatedly pushed and committed to."

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- The Press

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