More public transport options and cycling safety improvements wanted

Published on 08 May 2019

Thumbnail image for the Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy.

The interim results of a Horowhenua transportation survey show strong support for improved public transport options and call for prioritising cycling safety improvements on the state highways running through the district.

Horowhenua District Council is conducting 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 in parallel with New Zealand Transport Agency’s work on the Ō2NL project and is expected to inform planning work for the expressway.

Principal Policy Advisor Cynthia Ward said just over 300 people had taken 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 so far show a strong appetite for improved public transport on both rail and bus services and highlight the need for safe cycling options on the state highways.”

Some of the interim results, as of 9am today, include:

  • Ninety-six percent of travel is by private vehicle, and 64% of those surveyed are on the roads before 9am.
  • More than half of the respondents (56%) do not use public transport, 20% use the train and 9% use buses.
  • Nearly 84% of respondents wanted Horizons Regional Council to invest more in public transport services. More than 90% felt Horowhenua District Council should do more to encourage people to use public transport services. About 57% were interested in more bus services. Forty-five percent supported the reinstatement of the Levin bus service, but another 43% said they did not know.
  • There was significant support for rail services, with 81% wanting more, 90% wanting the Council to advocate for the electrification of railway tracks from Waikanae to Levin, and more than 75% wanting the Council to advocate for the Levin Railway Station to be upgraded.
  • Sixty-one percent felt there were not enough safe pathways for walking, running and cycling. When asked to prioritise Council’s efforts to improve shared pathways, 69% called for safety improvements on major roads connecting the towns in the district (e.g. SH1).
  • Few respondents, 13%, 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.

Mrs Ward said later this month the full survey results will be publicly released, and work will begin on the draft Horowhenua Transport Strategy, which will be considered by Elected Members later this year.

Mrs Ward said while the official engagement process is coming to an end on Friday, 10 May 2019 at 4pm, people can still access the survey over the weekend. Anyone interested in taking part in a future transport workshop can register by emailing growth@horowhenua.govt.nz.

The Horowhenua Integrated Transport Strategy Survey can be accessed on Council’s Facebook page and the Have Your Say page. Or you can visit Council’s Main Office in Levin or Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō in Levin, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton, and the Shannon Library.