We need a transport network that will serve the needs of Tasman residents now and into the future.
Everyone would like NZTA to sort out the State Highway issues through Richmond and into Nelson. We would also like to see the promised upgrade to Motueka back on the agenda. It is the only project outlined in the Regional Land Transport Strategy For Nelson City and Tasman District 1993 that has not been completed. Twenty Six years is long enough on the waiting list.
The Council should keep lobbying NZTA for action as there are plenty of other Councils vying for their limited funds.
But, at the same time, we need to get smarter with the way we use our roading network. It is unsustainable to keep building bigger and bigger roads to cater to single
Some say that we need to move people onto public transport as the answer in the future.
A public transport system may be a part of that future but better networking with private industry is likely to provide a more economic and more efficient service that can adapt to changing transport needs. Working together for better results.
We don’t know what the future of transport will look like. But we do know that it will look very different from the transport of today. Until about the 1930s, coastal shipping was the main method of transporting people and goods around New Zealand. Newmans were running horse
Looking to the future, we already have the technology for self-drive cars, uber is trialling automated passenger drones. It would not be prudent for the Council to try and constrain future transport solutions to more buses, electric or otherwise. Nor would be good business practice for the Council to compete with private enterprise looking to maximise the use of new technology.
In recent months I have worked with Kate Malcolm of the Nelson Tasman Transport Trust and Hilary Bird of the Wakefield Rest Home to facilitate the establishment of a Wakefield bus service trial. While this may not be the ultimate solution to our transport woes, it does show that public/private partnerships can operate well (if locals support the service!).
We also need to rethink the way we deliver cycleways in the region. With the advent of e-bikes and various other forms of electric powered people movers the older generation is far more mobile even when they are not able to use cars. These vehicles have a range of up to 50 kms. So why do we not build “cycleways” that are both wide enough and properly constructed to accommodate mobility scooters and bikes. Is this a case of less is more, and a job worth doing is worth doing right?
Relieving traffic congestion and reducing greenhouse gases needs a more holistic look at what we are doing with our transport network. More of the same just won’t cut it, Tasman deserves Better.