Lack of transport options and busy roads concern Horowhenua residents

Published on 29 May 2019

Thumbnail image for the Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy.

The results of the first Horowhenua transportation survey show strong support for improved public transport options and call for prioritising cycling safety improvements on State Highways running through the district.

Horowhenua District Council carried out the survey as part of its engagement with residents and stakeholders on the development of the Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy – a multi-modal transport strategy for the district to provide an overarching strategic vision and principles to guide and inform infrastructure planning, investment and delivery over the next 30 years.

The strategy will recognise changing travel demands and address transport challenges over the next 30 years relating to existing and foreseeable problems, and their exacerbation, caused by factors including growth, demography, technology, climate change, peak oil, employment patterns and the wider economy.

The strategy is being developed to help inform planning work for the O2NL expressway.

Principal Policy Advisor Cynthia Ward said more than 500 people took part in the survey. “It’s providing some great information that will be used to help create the Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy,” she said.

“The results show a strong appetite for more rail and bus public transport options, safe cycling options along our State Highways and safer roads in general.”

The survey found:

  • Ninety-four percent of travel is by private vehicle, and 60% of those surveyed are on the roads before 9am.
  • More than half of the respondents (55%) do not use public transport, 20% use the train and 9% use buses.
  • Nearly 83% of respondents wanted the Horizons Regional Council to invest more in public transport services. Ninety percent felt the Horowhenua District Council should do more to encourage people to use public transport services. More than 59% were interested in more bus services. Forty-six percent supported the reinstatement of the Levin bus service, but another 22% said they did not know.
  • There was significant support for more rail services, with 79% wanting more daily trips, 86% wanting the Council to advocate for the electrification of railway tracks from Waikanae to Levin, and 75% wanting the Council to advocate for the Levin Railway Station to be upgraded.
  • Fifty-eight percent felt there were not enough safe pathways for walking, running and cycling. However, for our most active users of pathways, those aged 25 to 44, that percentage increased to 70%.
  • When asked to prioritise Council’s efforts to improve shared pathways in the district:
    • 66% called for safety improvements on major roads connecting the towns in the district (e.g. SH1);
    • 60% called for safety improvements on roads within towns for commuting and neighbourhood trips;
    • 56% called for developing attractive routes around towns for recreation – similar to Arapaepae Road shared pathway.
  • Few respondents, 16%, felt there was a need for more mobility car parks. However, those who did wanted to see more in Levin’s CBD, on Foxton’s main street, and for the first mobility parks to be installed in Shannon outside the shops.

Work will begin on the draft Horowhenua Transport Strategy which will be considered by Elected Members in the coming months.