B2B ‘pause and review’ request sent to NZTA

Image: NZTA.

Tauranga City Council, the Sustainable Business Network and the Bayfair Underpass Alliance have formally requested that the Board of the New Zealand Transport Agency agrees to the establishment of a working party to urgently review and find cost-effective solutions to issues relating to the B2B link project.

This follows a public meeting on Monday September 23, where there was unanimous agreement that the Baylink project should be paused to allow meaningful collaboration with the community on a design that will work for Tauranga in the future.

“One of the key focuses of that process would be to review and resolve any issues preventing the retention of an underpass at Bayfair,” says a council spokesperson.

“The proposed working party would comprise representatives of NZTA, Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, tangata whenua and key stakeholders, including the Sustainable Business Network and the Underpass Alliance.”

Key issues identified by individuals and organisations attending Monday night’s meeting included:

A concern that NZTA’s proposed crossing at the Maunganui Road/Girven Road roundabout would require pedestrians, cyclists and people on scooters and mobility scooters to negotiate four sets of light-controlled crossings.

That the light-controlled Bayfair roundabout would seriously impede traffic flows through an already congested intersection.

That the failure to provide a ‘grade-separated’ crossing, such as the existing Bayfair underpass NZTA has marked for demolition, will create safety issues for all users.

That NZTA’s proposed grade-separated solution would require approximately a 4km detour for users wanting to cross from the Owens/Matapihi Road intersection to the Bayfair entrance and back.

The request also points out that the removal of the existing underpass at Bayfair will undermine the council’s efforts to encourage a shift away from private vehicles to other transport modes, and does not comply with the Government’s Policy Statement for Transport.

The organisations requesting the review are hopeful that NZTA will take-up the opportunity to ‘demonstrate its commitment to working with communities to find optimum solutions’.

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Posted on 26-09-2019 10:35 | By tabatha

When the B2B roading was in the planning stage many opportunities were made for public to view the plans at Baypark. The first was the choice of 3 different plans. The decision was made and the plan should pedestrian crossings under the fly over. It would be interesting to get traffic numbers that would be using the flyover and those going to Bayfair and Matapihi. At a guess it could be two thirds over the top, no interference to crossing below like now. Please let us get the work finished. TCC were shown the plans I am sure and some how elected members may not have been. What worries me is the possibility of need for security in the tunnel under the road.