Nelson’s award-winning active travel project to be extended with $1.4m funding

14/09/2022 4:32am

Walking and cycling in Nelson South will receive a huge boost after Waka Kotahi awarded $1.4m to Nelson City Council to extend its award-winning active travel project in the area.

Part of the Waka Kotahi Streets for People programme, this next stage of the project will extend the trial road layout changes between the Railway Reserve and Kawai Street South all the way to Waimea Road at Hampden Street, providing a safe active travel corridor right through the heart of Nelson South for pedestrians, cyclists, school kids, hospital visitors and commuters.

The project aims to make active travel safer and more convenient by reallocating road space so that it prioritises walkers and cyclists on streets that serve many key destinations and major employers, such as Nelson Hospital, schools, and journeys towards the city centre.

Building on the earlier Innovating Streets for People project, the changes made to road layouts will be carried out in conjunction with the community and other closely linked organisations.

Chair of the Regional Transport Committee Brian McGurk says the success of the project at Kawai Street South hinged on the buy-in from local road users.

“Change is hard, and there are inevitable concerns when you make changes like these. But on Kawai Street South, we had great support from residents, the intermediate school and local kindergarten, who were all thrilled to see reductions in speed on their streets, making them safer for children and more appealing to walk or cycle down.
“Now we want to extend that success, so we start to link up some of the most travelled areas of our city.”

Te Whatu Ora - Nelson Marlborough Health’s General Manager Finance Performance & Facilities Eric Sinclair leant his support to the project.

“Improved walking and biking paths between the Railway Reserve and Waimea Road will make for a safer commute for those who walk or bike to work and encourage more people to take up active travel. We look forward to working closely with Nelson City Council on improving walking and cycling links around Nelson Hospital.”

The project will show how pop-up trials like these can improve local communities and provide a place where Council can start to implement strategies to build a sustainable transport future, including the Regional Transport Plan, Future Development Strategy (intensification), Speed Management Plans, and the Active Travel Strategy.

When complete, the Railway Reserve to Waimea Road active travel link will directly contribute to E Tu Whakatū’s (our Active Travel Strategy) goals to reduce vehicle kilometres travelled and transport emissions and create a safer network for people using active modes of travel.

Due for final adoption at a full Council meeting in September, E Tu Whakatū has a target of doubling the number of trips made by walking and cycling to work and school in urban areas by 2030 and tripling them by 2050.