$10b transport plan gets tick from Canterbury mayors

5:52 pm on 19 April 2024
Ashburton could be set to get a second bridge over the Hakatere River.

A second Ashburton bridge over the Hakatere River is proposed. Photo: Ashburton Guardian / Jonathan Leask via LDR

Canterbury's mayors have endorsed a $10.8 billion plan to boost the region's transport infrastructure.

The Canterbury Regional Transport Committee, comprising the region's 10 mayors, gave their approval to the 2024/34 Canterbury Regional Land Transport Plan at a meeting in Christchurch on Thursday.

Environment Canterbury will now meet on 1 May, to adopt the plan, which will need government support.

The plan includes the proposed Woodend Bypass and a second Ashburton bridge as key projects.

Committee chairperson Peter Scott, who also chairs Environment Canterbury, said the $10.8b investment over 10 years would double the region's transport investment.

But it will require a $4.6b contribution from central government.

"Our future transport system will not look the same as it does today. It cannot," Cr Scott said.

"We need to change if we are going to enable sustained economic and population growth, mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, support equity, and capitalise on the rapid technological developments in the sector."

The plan will see more than $200 million invested in the Waimakariri district over the next 10 years, including the proposed Rangiora eastern link road and an upgrade to the Skew Bridge in west Kaiapoi, as well as the Woodend Bypass.

Matt Doocey - single use only

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey (centre) has been a long time campaigner for the Woodend Bypass. Photo: LDR / Supplied / Matt Doocey

Waimakariri mayor Dan Gordon said the plan will help future proof the region's transport infrastructure.

"We've been calling for these projects to be funded for several years and I am sure residents will be pleased to see they are included.

"These projects will enable Waimakariri to continue to grow while maintaining the efficiency of our transport system."

Gordon said the plan included creating funding to respond to extreme weather events, improving public transport and safety improvements.

Hurunui mayor Marie Black said she was pleased to see the inclusion of a much needed upgrade for the Conway River bridge on Inland Road, between Kaikōura and Waiau.

"Route 70 is an important regional connection that serves as an alternative route to State Highway 1.

"The bridge is restricted by weight and so strategic consideration is important to improve resilience for the entire network."

The plan also includes public transport options for Greater Christchurch.

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