Why is Eastern Pathways/Te Ara o te Rawhiti important?
The Programme is important because Hamilton is one of the fastest-growing cities in New Zealand with a surge in population growth expected in the next 30 years.
By 2025, estimates predict 184,000 people will be living in Hamilton which will increase to a total of 236,000 people by 2048.
This puts more pressure on the local transport system, creating a number of challenges:
- An increasing trend in the number of people being killed or seriously injured on our roads.
- A declining number of people choosing to walk or ride a bike around the city.
- An historical decline in the number of people using public transport in Hamilton.
- A larger proportion of people are using their car for short trips around the city (60% of people driving for less than 5km and 33% of people driving for less than 2km).
- An increase in congestion and unreliable journey times across the city.
- A lack of city infrastructure to unlock new growth areas.
The success of Hamilton's transport system relies on creating a new approach for multi-modal (different types of transport) movement. We need to provide residents, commuters and visitors with an expanding range of easier, safer and more reliable choices for getting around, in addition to taking their cars. The walking, biking and public transport projects within the Programme will help to achieve this vision.
Which projects will begin construction in 2020?
Planning is currently underway to work out the phasing and implementation of some of the smaller safety and connectivity improvements projects and how this will work together with other initiatives or projects underway. We will provide further information and detail on what people can expect to see once this planning has been further developed.
Is the Programme important for people who don't live in eastern Hamilton?
Yes. The Programme, which is centred around School Link and Uni Link, will provide a safer environment for cycling and walking and improve the priority of public transport to the educational facilities in this area. Less people travelling by car to these destinations will make it easier for others to travel through eastern Hamilton. The supporting projects will also provide better cycling and walking connections to other parts of the city.
How does Eastern Pathways/Te Ara o te Rawhiti tie into the Bike, E-scoot and E-skate Programme?
The Bike, E-scoot and E-skate Programme is a city-wide long-term strategy to identify ways to increase travel by bike, e-scooter or e-skateboard across Hamilton. Eastern Pathways/Te Ara o te Rawhiti is a programme of infrastructure projects proposed for eastern Hamilton. Parts of these projects will be guided by the outcomes of the Bike, E-scoot and E-skate Programme.
How does Eastern Pathways/Te Ara o te Rawhiti fit with the East/West Link Frequent Bus Route Project?
The East/West Link will provide a direct and frequent bus connection between the University, Central Business District (CBD) and western suburbs. This frequent bus route will work alongside the goal of Eastern Pathways/Te Ara o te Rawhiti to improve walking, biking and public transport options to the west of the river. Better public transport connections both in eastern Hamilton and between the University, CBD and western suburbs will enable more journeys by bus.
Why are business cases needed for School Link and Uni Link?
The business cases will support the funding application to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for the future investigation, consultation, design and construction phases of these larger projects.
Where is the funding for Eastern Pathways/Te Ara o te Rawhiti coming from?
The Programme will be jointly funded by Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. How the funding will be spilt will be known following the funding application to Waka Kotahi for School Link and Uni Link.
What are the principles that guide Eastern Pathways/Te Ara o te Rawhiti?
- Be construction-ready by December 2020.
- Quality first – get it right first time.
- Take the community and stakeholders on the journey.
- Partnership for co-investment.