Three years to identify region's traffic woes

BUMPER TO BUMPER: Cars stuck in traffic on the northern motorway.
BUMPER TO BUMPER: Cars stuck in traffic on the northern motorway.

Traffic problems in Canterbury are unpredictable and the region's transport problems will take three years to become clear, according to a new government transport policy.

The Government's policy statement on land transport says there is still "substantial uncertainty" on how the rebuild of Christchurch will affect the region's traffic.

The draft document dictates how $38.7 billion is spent on land transport for the next 10 years.

Canterbury's predicament has created uncertainty, the document says.

"There is substantial uncertainty around the speed and scale of further changes to the distribution of Christchurch traffic.

"The long-term impacts of changed land use patterns and associated travel demands will become clearer over the next three years," it said.

It highlights traffic congestion in the west of Christchurch city, which it says may need "additional measures" to address capacity.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said, "regional networks are critical to New Zealand's economic performance, and the draft GPS recognises this by increasing funding to maintain roads, and replacing regional funding which will expire on 31 March 2015."

It will take effect from July 1 next year to 2025 and reviewed every three years.

"While the new GPS comes into effect on 1 July 2015, it will be released this year so local and central government can consider it in transport planning processes," Brownlee said.

The Press