The transport system
To support a safe and sustainable community and growth in the Western Corridor, a range of options have been developed for the long-term (10 plus years) improvements to SH29 and SH29A, and short-term improvements to provide access and improve safety.
Alongside the state highway upgrades there are options for significantly improving walking and cycling and high frequency public transport connections through the area.
Three proposed long-term options for the transport network
Walking, cycling and public transport
Options for improving walking, cycling and public transport
A range of enabling works to facilitate access and improve safety
The transport plan for the Western Corridor places importance on public transport solutions, walking and cycling, and local road networks for local journeys.
SH29 is the key route connecting our region with Auckland, Waikato, and the Upper North Island. This route supports the economic success of the western Bay of Plenty. It is vital that growth and liveability, and safety and productivity go hand in hand.
The Connected Centres programme outlines how vital a multimodal transport system is to ensure existing and future communities are connected by frequent public transport services along prioritised public transport corridors.
Enabling more people to move via public transport will improve freight access. Providing access to a network of safe and accessible cycling, walking and personal mobility routes supports connectivity to local shops, schools, and other services, as well as accessing neighbouring communities.
The other benefit is a range of transport choices and the opportunity for people to live close to work. This will help reduce transport carbon emissions over time. It is as much a priority to increase the attractiveness of public transport and walking, cycling and other active modes as it is to improve safety and access of the state highways.
The proposed long-term (10 plus years) improvements for SH29 and SH29A include three options; an upgrade to the existing state highways (online option), a new four-lane corridor alongside the existing state highways (offline option), or a mixture of the two. Alongside the state highway upgrades there are options for significantly improving walking and cycling and high frequency public transport connections through the area.
We brought these options to the community for feedback in May/June 2021. Thank you to everyone who participated. We received over 200 responses to our online survey, and more than 1000 people attended the information days. We are currently analysing the responses and will release a summary of the feedback in September 2021.
Option A: Online upgrade
Option B: Offline upgrade
Option C: Online and Offline upgrade
Walking, cycling and public transport
Walking and cycling
We are working to develop a network of safe routes for cycling, walking and personal mobility to allow people to easily reach their local shops, schools, parks and neighbouring communities. There will be a balance of cycle lanes, footpaths and shared paths.
A shared path is separated from road traffic, intended to be used by people walking, cycling, scootering, skating and using mobility aids. Shared paths make it safer and easier for people to cycle and walk around town. This helps make towns and cities more accessible and liveable, promotes recreation and tourism, reduced traffic congestion and greenhouse emissions, and supports people to be active and healthy.
Shared paths provide a safe, off-road option for people exercising, commuting or having fun.
The future PT Service Plan for the Western Corridor has been developed around a “hub-and-spoke” model. Tauranga Crossing is a natural hub where most roads in the area meet and the centre is a significant attractor in the area. In addition to the combination of express services to Tauranga’s CBD and local services, school services will also be provided. The number of these will be dependent on school locations.
- Dedicated lanes and priority at key intersections will allow buses to move past queued traffic and ensure bus services are frequent, reliable and get people where they need to go.
- Most people should be able to reach their destination using public transport within 30-45 minutes.
- Getting more people onto buses will also free up room for more freight and create space for people who still need or choose to use cars in future.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is responsible for providing, operating and maintaining a safe and reliable transport system.
Waka Kotahi is leading the transport plan to ensure that the transport system for Tauriko is safe, supports local growth, and provides alternative travel choices for the community.
The transport plan aims to:
- provide more buses and improved walking and cycling connectivity
- improve road safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries
- maintain freight access to the Port of Tauranga
Alongside the long-term planning work for the transport network, Tauranga City Council and Waka Kotahi have identified initial improvements to enable the first stages of housing development within Tauriko West, support continued industrial development of Tauriko Business Estate, and improve safety at the existing SH29/Belk Road and SH29/Cambridge Road intersections.
The proposed enabling works improvements are at concept stage and include:
- A new roundabout at SH29/Redwood Lane (which will connect to the Tauriko Business Estate and provide access to the southern part of Tauriko West).
- Closure of the existing SH29/Belk Road intersection, and redirection via Tauriko Business Estate to the new SH29/Redwood Lane roundabout.
- A new intersection with traffic lights on SH29 at Tauriko village (to provide access to the northern part of Tauriko West).
- An upgrade of SH29 to four lanes between the new intersection at Tauriko village and Cambridge Road, including provision of a new shared walking and cycling path along the north side of SH29.
- An upgrade of the existing SH29/Cambridge Road intersection with traffic lights and a new connection to Tauranga Crossing via Whiore Avenue (for buses, pedestrians, and cyclists only).
- Provision of a shared walking and cycling path along both sides of Whiore Avenue between the SH29/Cambridge Road intersection and Taurikura Drive.
Construction of the enabling works could commence in the next two to three years, subject to funding, consultation with landowners whose property or access may be affected by the works, land acquisition, and any statutory approvals which may be required.