BOP transport concerns raised with Minister
Transport emissions and the need for new funding and finance mechanisms for projects are some of the topics raised by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Transport Committee.
The issues have been brought to the attention of Transport Minister Michael Wood.
Wood was supposed to be visiting the region but in light of the recent Covid-19 outbreak, met the committee, which includes regional mayors and councillors, online.
Committee Chair Lyall Thurston outlined the Committee’s 30 year regional transport vision of a transport system that is sustainable, resilient, efficient and meets the needs of a diverse growing community and regional economy.
Transport is responsible for 61 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay of Plenty and Thurston says Wood describes climate change as being one of the biggest challenges that we will be judged on by future generations.
Thurston says the Regional Transport Committee is currently working on how it will meet the Regional Land Transport Plan target of reducing transport sector carbon emissions by a minimum of 25 per cent by 2030.
“The ongoing issues with traffic congestion in the Western Bay were also highlighted including the recent omission of funding in the National Land Transport Programme for the Omokoroa Interchange and the 4-laning of Stage Two between Te Puna and Omokoroa.”
He says Wood talked about the linking up of efficient freight networks which included coastal shipping and inter-regional rail.
“Minister Wood said we need to show courage and do things differently. Transport is an enabler to better housing, wellbeing and economic development.”
The Minister is invited to visit the region in person when Covid-19 Alert Levels allow.