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$37 million funding to improve Hamilton travel options

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A $37 million package of upgrades has been given the go-ahead to improve biking, walking and public transport options in Hamilton.

Hamilton City Counci formally approved the Transport Choices Initiative Funding Agreement with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency in which the transport agency will fund $33.2 million towards the proposed 28 climate friendly transport projects. The council will contribute $3.8 million to bring the total package of projects to $37 million.

Deputy Mayor and Infrastructure and Transport Committee chair, Angela O’Leary, says the funding means the council can bring forward 28 important transport upgrades.

“This funding will help us join the dots between more parts of the city,” O’Leary says. “The projects are relatively simple upgrades that will make a big difference. These projects will really start to open up the city.”

The proposed 28 projects, due to be completed before June 2024, range from footpath upgrades to new bike and walkway connections. Council’s public transport and urban mobility manager, Martin Parkes, says that while the list of projects looked imposing, most were relatively small in scale. “It’s a suite of small to medium changes that we can make around the city.”

Parkes says there were simple “tweaks” that would enhance existing infrastructure, such as improving bike lanes along Killarney Road so that commuters and students could connect more easily to the Western Rail Trail.

“The Western Rail Trail is an excellent off-road facility but first you have to get there. With this funding we can make it safer for people to bike from Frankton to the rail trail so they can get more easily into town or school,” he says.

One of the larger projects was a proposal to relocate bus stops from the Rototuna Shopping Centre onto Horsham Downs Road to help improve the shopping centre amenity and make the buses easier to get to. New bus shelters were proposed to be built on both sides of the road with a raised pedestrian crossing for safer pedestrian access. Public consultation was due to start shortly.

Parkes says the proposed 28 projects were at various stages of development, with concept designs and project plans required to be signed off by elected members through the Infrastructure Operations Committee before formal community engagement.

“The council’s transport strategy, Access Hamilton: Ara Kootuitui Kirikiriroa, clearly shows us what we need to do to make it safer and more enjoyable for people to move around the city. It’s all about opening up our streets and helping people get to where they need to go safely and efficiently,” O’Leary says.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency announced December last year that Hamilton City Council would receive a one-off grant from the Transport Choices investment package. Since then, council and transport agency staff had been working to confirm the final number and budget of projects that would move forward.

Transport Choices is an investment package within the Waka Kotahi Climate Emergency Response Programme that supports local councils to begin immediate work for reduction of emissions by developing safer, greener and healthier travel options. Transport in Hamilton currently makes up about 64% of the city’s total emissions.

Transport Choices funding is currently indicative until Waka Kotahi works with councils to explore how projects can be progressed in line with Transport Choices timeframes.

Funding decisions will be finalised once the project list and detail are confirmed between council and Waka Kotahi.

Proposed projects:

Strategic cycling and micromobility

  • Bader Street connection to River Path, and Hospital
  • Killarney Road – SH1C Greenwood Street to Western Rail Trail (WRT)
  • Gallagher Drive and Kahikatea Drive
  • Heaphy Terrace – Boundary Road to Brooklyn Road
  • Pedestrian crossing on Brooklyn Road and cycle Lane development
  • Claudelands Park Connection
  • End of Trip Facilities – Bike and Scooter Parking
  • Frankton East / Lake Domain to Western Rail Trail
  • Level Crossing – Killarney Road
  • Bike Parklets – Grey Street, St Andrews Shops, and Barton Street
  • Western Rail Trail (WRT) to Frankton Station
  • Rifle Range Road – SH23 (Massey Street) to Avalon Drive (SH1C)
  • Hall Street/Mill Street – between Kent Street and Victoria Street
  • Riverlea connections
  • Killarney Road – Queens Avenue to Western Rail Trail
  • Level crossings – Claudelands East and Brooklyn Road

Public transport

  • Bus shelter replacements
  • Thackeray Street bus stops
  • Hukanui Road bus stops
  • Horsham Downs Road
  • Lake Road/Commerce Street roundabout
  • Rotokauri Road / Baverstock Road bus stop and accessibility
  • Hyde Avenue bus stop and accessibility
  • Pembroke Street bus stops
  • Anglesea Street (south) bus stop improvement

Walkable neighbourhoods

  • Tristram Street/Anzac Parade – walking and cycling link from Palmerston to Clarence Street
  • Hayes Paddock – crossing, bus stop improvement and intersection reconstruction. Bike parking and local interactive space.
  • River Road footpath western side – Kirikiriroa Bridge to Comries Road
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