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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Strategic Transport Study

Today marked the release of the strategic transport study, a joint NPDC and Tranzit study to for the development of New Plymouth's transportation network.

While more details can be found in the PDF documents contained here, I've included the summary of the findings below, along with some diagrams in further posts.

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Together with the implementation of travel demand measures, the two main conclusions to emerge from the New Plymouth Strategic Study are:

• Northgate should be widened to four lanes with an additional auxiliary lane westbound between Mangorei Road and Leach Street, a right-turn lane into Hobson Street, and
additional lanes for turning traffic at the Northgate/Mangorei Road intersection

• Devon Road, including the Waiwhakaiho River Bridge, should be widened to six lanes with additional lanes for turning traffic at the Smart Road and Vickers Road intersections.

Other conclusions include:

• most of the existing road network will cater for future traffic volumes for the next 25 years, and even up to 40 years

• some adjustments should be made to the classification of local urban roads, and the rural road network should be classified

• provision should be made to ultimately improve the alignment of District Route 1 as a Minor Arterial Road

• based on projections of future traffic volumes and the provision of cycle lanes on alL Arterial and Collector Roads, where necessary in preference to on-street parking, provision should be made for the need to widen some sections of the carriageway, but generally without the need to widen the road reserve, on the following Arterial and ollector Roads:
- Eliot Street-Coronation Avenue
- Devon Street East
- Devon Street West
- South Road
- Tukapa Street
- Carrington Street
- Frankley Road

• the Morley Street-Vivian Street intersection should be signalised

• the one-way pair on Leach Street-Vivian Street and Powderham Street-Courtenay Street should be retained with improvements to the Central City Area road network including:
- three through lanes on Leach Street between Eliot Street and Liardet Street
- some additional approach lanes at intersections
- some additional parking restrictions
- addition of signals at the Leach Street intersection with Gover Street

• a new link between SH3 (South) and the Port is not economically justified

• a second crossing of the Waiwhakaiho River may be required but until traffic growth on SH3 (East) along Northgate and Devon Road, and across the Waiwhakaiho River are confirmed, any further investigations which will require the development of a detailed transportation model of New Plymouth should be deferred

• measures should be taken to minimise the growth of traffic in the SH3 (East) corridor including:
- increasing the self-sufficiency of Bell Block
- improving public transport services between New Plymouth and Bell Block, and encouraging industries to develop travel plans and other measures, in order to minimise dependency of private car travel
- integrating future commercial development at Waiwhakaiho and residential development up Smart Road with improvements to the Northgate - Devon Road corridor and possibly a second crossing of the Waiwhakaiho River

• future development of the Waiwhakaiho commercial area and the Smart Road residential area should be integrated and coordinated with the development of the SH3 (East) corridor on Northgate and Devon Road and, in particular, the Devon Road/Smart Road intersection

• bypasses of the rural townships of Inglewood, Urenui, Oakura and Okato are not economic and, generally, the existing arrangements for managing through traffic, local traffic And local community activities in the ‘main streets’ are appropriate.


The report has also proposed a number of short term traffic management improvements including:

• reconfiguration of the St Aubyn Street/Breakwater Road/Lawry Street/South Road intersection to provide a half roundabout, with associated removal of the slip lane and shortening of the pedestrian crossing

• closure of the Watson Street and Ngaio Street intersections on Northgate and the Constance Street intersection on Devon Road
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
This is a summary of the documentation. Appologies in advance for any mistakes! :eek:hno:

Northgate - Hobson Street



Note:
  • New intersection allowing West-bound vehicles to turn north into Hobson Street.
  • Expansion from one lane on Northgate East-bound to three-lanes.
  • Expansion from one lane on Northgate West-bound to three lanes.
  • Expansion from two lanes East-bound on Leach St to three-lanes.

Northgate - Mangorei Rd



Note:
  • Expansion from one lane East-bound to two lanes East-bound.
  • Expansion from two lanes West-bound to three lanes West-bound
  • Expansion from two lane Te Henui-Northgate bridge to five lanes.
  • Major expansion of Northgate - Mangorei Road intersection to five lanes West bound and five lanes East-bound on Northgate.
  • Major expansion of Mangorei Road - Northgate intersection to five lanes North-bound, and four lanes South-bound.

Northgate - Strandon section



Note:
  • Expansion from one lane East bound to two lanes.
  • Expansion from one lane West-bound to two lanes.

Northgate-Fitzroy-Waiwhakaiho



Note:
  • Expansion from one lane East-bound to three lanes East-bound.
  • Expansion from two lanes West-bound to three lanes West-bound, moving to two lanes West-bound.
  • Expand Waiwhakaiho bridge from one lane East-bound and two lanes West-bound to three lanes East-bound and three-lanes West-bound.
  • Minor intersection improvement at Devon St East (Fitzroy entrance).
  • Expansion of short section of Devon St East from two lanes to four lanes.


Devon Road (Northgate)-Waiwikahio-Vickers Rd



  • Expansion from two lanes East-bound to three lanes.
  • Expansion from two lanes West-bound to three lanes.
  • Addition of Express-way median barrier the entire length of the new system.
  • Closure of Katere Road exit/entrance East-bound.
  • Expansion from two lanes West-bound to Vickers Rd to four lanes.
  • Expansion from two lanes South-bound on Vickers Rd to four lanes.
  • Joins new Bell Block Express-way (yet to be formally designated).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not pictured but under consideration:
  • New Airport Rd interchange (same as Bell Block interchange currently under construction) and De Havilland Drive over-pass.

Not pictured but currently under construction:
  • Bell Block bypass (Expressway) further East.
 

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Same Routes, Different Buses

23 June 2008

Same Routes, Different Buses

Public bus services in New Plymouth will take on a different look from the end of June as a new Taranaki Regional Council contract takes effect.

Tranzit Coachlines will operate bus services in New Plymouth, Oakura, Bell Block and Waitara under the City Link banner from 1 July. Routes and fares will remain unchanged and timetables will initially be the same. The only difference will be Tranzit’s white and blue City Link buses.

The contract was awarded after a two-year trial of expanded bus services during which much was learned, says the Council’s Director-Operations, Rob Phillips.

As a result of feedback during the trial, new early morning and late afternoon commuter services will be introduced later in the year.

“In setting up the new commuter services, we’ll be guided by comments passengers made during the trial and also by suggestions we received during a public survey in April this year. And given the way fuel prices are rising, we’re sure there’ll be a great deal of interest.

“Convenient new fare-paying technology involving the use of smart cards is also being investigated.”

Tranzit Coachlines is also taking over eight school bus services. Again, routes, fares and timetables will remain unchanged.


From 1 July, Tranzit’s school bus runs will include:

• Route 2 (Waitara-NP-Waitara)
• Route 8 (NP-Bell Block)
• Route 9 (Oakura-NP-Oakura)
• Route 10 (Omata-NP-Omata)
• Route 11 (Westown-Spotswood)
• Route 12 (Bell Block-NP-Bell Block)
• Route 21 (Bell Block-NP-Bell Block)
• Route 23 (Waitara-NP-Waitara)


Mr Phillips says the contract was awarded after a competitive tendering process that weighed up quality of service as well as cost.

“We needed a contract that would let us maintain or improve existing services, hold fares and keep ratepayer cost to a minimum. Our contract with Tranzit not only lets us do this, but gives us budgetary leeway to introduce the new commuter services.”

City Link will be supported from 1 July by a new websitehttp://www.taranakibus.info.

This is a picture of what Okato Bus Lines Used to have on New Plymouth City Bus routes, which is to cease operation at the 1st of July. But the bus they used was 2 door and the same make.
 

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SIZE="5"]Procession marks end of the line for Okato buses [/SIZE]

A procession of buses up New Plymouth's main street brought the Okato Bus Lines era to an end in Taranaki yesterday.

From today, their services will be run by Tranzit Coachlines and to mark their farewell a convoy of 16 buses revved and tooted their way along Devon St.


A convoy of buses along Devon St gave the Taranaki public one last glimpse of the Okato Bus Lines fleet. Its Taranaki services will be taken over by Tranzit Coachlines from today.

Tranzit was awarded the tender for New Plymouth's city services by the Taranaki Regional Council in April and yesterday Okato Bus Lines director Heather Oxley confirmed the company had now sold the whole business - including 38 buses, rural and urban school bus runs and commercial urban runs - to Tranzit.

Tranzit will also rent Okato Bus Lines' Sunley St bus depot.

All of Okato Bus Lines' drivers were offered jobs with Tranzit and while the majority accepted, for some yesterday's drive-by was the last hurrah.

"Very sad," Mrs Oxley said. "We've been through the grieving process, to be honest."

Okato Bus Lines had run the New Plymouth city service since 1992 when the New Plymouth District Council scrapped its services.

Mrs Oxley said the support the company had received from the Taranaki public since losing the tender was overwhelming, with dozens of messages, flowers and even baking.

"We've just been blown away by the feeling out there to be honest," she said.

"They've told us they were very disappointed the contract was given to an out-of-town company."

Tranzit managing director Paul Snelgrove said the company was excited about moving in and viewed New Plymouth as a natural addition to its bus services in Wairarapa, Manawatu, Wanganui and Auckland.

He said Tranzit wanted to dispel rumours the takeover was a case of a corporate company muscling out the locals, saying Tranzit was a privately-owned family business running since 1924.

Tranzit plans to keep about 15 of the buses bought off Okato Bus Lines and the others would be sold. A further 22 vehicles will be brought in, including four super-low-floor, wheelchair equipped, twin doored and air-conditioned buses for the city runs.

TRC director operations Rob Phillips said it would be business as usual when Tranzit took over today.

"We're pretty excited about going forward," Mr Phillips said.

He said the TRC would look to introduce new schedules, services and fare-payment technology a couple of months down the track.

"Let's make the change with as little difference as possible," he said.

"Same time, same service, different operator. New services a few months down the track." The TRC has launched a new public transport website www.taranakibus.info with links to route, fare and timetable information for all Taranaki bus services.
 

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Thanks for the info nz1 and kwl.
Those are huge improvements on the northern gateway. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasnt the route completed in the mid 70s in an already downgraded fashion due to the oil crisis at the time?
 

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Plea to dig into nest egg

One of Taranaki's prominent businessmen is urging the district council to dig into its investment fund to quickly overcome New Plymouth's biggest roading problem - the bottleneck at Waiwhakaiho.

He is John Matthews, owner of Technix Group Ltd which is head-quartered in the industrial area in the Waiwhakaiho Valley.

He is one of a large number of individuals and organisations to file submissions on the strategic transport plan released by the New Plymouth District Council and Transit New Zealand in May.

This report identified traffic congestion along the city's northern outlet as the most critical transport problem in the district, requiring urgent attention to cater for future economic and traffic growth.

Yesterday all these submissions were tabled at a meeting of the council's policy committee, and they included some from high-powered organisations such as the Road Transport Association and the Automobile Association.

Several of the authors of the submissions turned up to speak to the meeting - Mr Matthews included.

"We need to kick-start the construction process to overcome the Waiwhakaiho pinch-point," he told the meeting.

"There is real urgency here. And if Transit decides there isn't a sense of urgency, then I suggest New Plymouth becomes proactive - take money from the council's perpetual investment fund and lend it to Transit so it can get on with the job.

"That would be a very good investment for the city," he said.

Some of the submissions accuse officials of sitting on their hands over the issue of traffic congestion along the northern outlet.

The submission from the Road Transport Association's western central district points out that the need for a second bridge over the Waiwhakaiho River had been identified in a special study 40 years ago, and that if it had been built, New Plymouth would not be in the traffic congestion situation it is now.

New Plymouth man Alister Imrie told the meeting that over the past few years ratepayers had repeatedly voiced their concerns about the congestion, particularly the bottleneck on the bridge crossing the Waiwhakaiho River.

"The council, Land Transport and central government must all accept responsibility for their prevarication. Between them they have allowed a potentially hazardous and dangerous situation to develop, and the council has done little to plan for another bridge," he said.

"Only a few weeks ago we were informed there were two or three sites where a bridge could go. What an incredible admission from council officers. A serious problem has frustrated and plagued its citizens for more than 20 years, and the authorities of this city are only thinking about where a second bridge should go."

Mr Imrie said it was imperative that New Plymouth built another access over the river as soon as possible.

"Perhaps Len Lye should have been asked to design a kinetic bridge, then we would have plenty of finance from the art budget, all the motorists of the community would be satisfied - and we would have a second bridge."

Yesterday's meeting decided to forward the submissions to Transit and its consultant for consideration in its final reports on the New Plymouth strategic transport plan.
 

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Port wants access road


Port Taranaki's future is in jeopardy if long-term plans aren't put in place for new road access.


This warning is issued by Port Taranaki Ltd chief executive Roy Weaver, who says roading authorities should be planning a new ring route around the hinterland of urban New Plymouth.

And he is backed by several Taranaki organisations including Venture Taranaki, Automobile Association, and the Road Transport Association.

In a submission on the recently-released draft strategic transport plan for New Plymouth, he warns of potentially disastrous consequences if the plan sticks to its opinion that new road access to the port can not be economically justified.

"It is likely that the current access route to the port through the city will be untenable and will lead to slow strangulation of this vital community asset," he says of the port. Mr Weaver points out that a recent economic report says more than a third of regional GDP and jobs are directly linked to Port Taranaki.

"Imagine New Plymouth district with its population reduced by one-third to 35,000-40,000 because poor planning of road access to the port stifled its growth," he says.

"On the other hand, imagine the potential for the city brought about by a vibrant port with easy and efficient access to the South Island, Australia and other world ports.

"For this reason it is imperative that a longer-term view be adopted and an alternative route be identified and protected during the city's development."

The strategic plan, produced by Transit New Zealand and the New Plymouth District Council, considers the possibility of developing a new route connecting State Highway 3 and the port that would cut behind New Plymouth from Junction Rd to the Frankley Rd-Tukapa St intersection.

But it says although this would provide a shorter and faster route than now, the cost would be as much as $40 million.

"The benefits to port traffic and other local traffic would be quite minimal. Even with the prospects of developing a number of new trades through the port, the travel time and travel distances savings for road traffic to and from the port would be quite minimal," it says, adding that this means such a route would not be economic in the foreseeable future.

But Mr Weaver says this should not be the end of the matter.

At a meeting of the district council's policy committee this week, he urged authorities to designate an alternative route to the port.

"We might not be able to afford to build it today, but if we don't designate the route now, we may not be able to build it when we do need it.

"This is a potential problem we need to find a solution to. Otherwise, Port Taranaki faces the danger of being strangled to death by road access issues over the next 25 years."

The AA supports the port's stance, arguing in its submission that a ring road road should be planned now. This planning could then earmark properties needed before urban sprawl makes them unavailable at a later date. And Venture Taranaki says this is an issue of when, rather than if, an alternative route is required. "Strategic consideration needs to be taken now, so that the potential to develop an alternate corridor at any time in the future is retained."
 

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Controversial intersection doesn't match crash statistics
New Plymouth's most feared intersection doesn't rate anywhere near the most dangerous in the district, according to latest crash statistics.

That honour goes to the Eliot St-Courtenay St intersection in the central city, which has recorded 30 crashes in the past five years.

The Eliot St-Courtenay St intersection, the most dangerous in New Plymouth.
And right behind it is the Northgate-Mangorei Rd intersection with a recorded crash count of 29.

Meanwhile, the notorious Brois St-Waimea St-Frankley Rd intersection has recorded just one crash in that time - something which underlines the New Plymouth District Council opinion that the intersection might be unsatisfactory, but it is not unsafe.

That statistic actually means there are 186 intersections in the district with worse crash records. The council's general manager of community assets, Anthony Wilson, says the statistics show that where there's more traffic, there's the greater opportunity for crashes.

"And where there are intersections with lights, then there seems to be the greater risk that motorists will move into a sort of autopilot mode and not think about what they are doing," he says.

"That's the irony. When you get to a very difficult intersection, such as the one that has been the subject of all the debate, then people don't approach it with a closed mind.

"Instead they take real care - and the recorded crash statistics are usually far lower."

Mr Wilson says it is a real concern in transport engineering circles that good engineering solutions for problem intersections often don't make for safer roads. "Education and driver behaviour also come into it. For example, New Plymouth has a bad record for people running red lights - and that helps explain why there are bad crash records on many controlled intersections."

But while regular users of the Brois-Waimea-Frankley intersection say they understand the reasoning behind the intersection's very low crash record, they continue to demand that improvements be made.

"It's a terrible intersection," says Rex Shields, who lives in Frankleigh Park.

"I can understand the crash statistics, but there are so many things that make that intersection dangerous and which need to be sorted out."

While the Eliot-Courtenay and Northgate-Mangorei intersections are clearly the most dangerous in New Plymouth, there are another 21 that have double-figure crash statistics. They include another intersection on Brois St - the crossing with Govett Ave which recorded 10 crashes in the past five years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Expanding the Mangaone Hill to four lanes.

Note: Bridge over stream being extended at right.



Henwood Road BBK Flyover construction.
(Entry/exit ramps from diamond interchange to left and right of photo)

 

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Criticism prompts fresh look Intense public scrutiny has forced a New Plymouth District Council "turnaround" on a notorious city intersection.

Proposals for a roundabout on the infamous Brois St-Waimea St-Frankley Rd intersection were scrapped in June, but NPDC chief executive Barbara McKerrow has now confirmed council officers are investigating other options for making the intersection safer.

"It's an obvious one," Mrs McKerrow told the Taranaki Daily News.

"A number of people are expressing their concerns.

"Because of the concern, I'm sure council will want to look at their other options."

A report was being prepared and should be ready in time for the council's next monitoring committee meeting on August 12.

NPDC manager roading assets Max Aves, who is preparing the report, said it would look into a range of options for improving the intersection.

These would include installing traffic signals and lowering the hill the intersection crosses.

The report would look at the safety risks involved with each option as well as some rough order costs.

But he said it was only an interim report.

Nearby resident Peter Bishop, who had criticised the decision to abandon a roundabout, said he was pleased the council had decided to continue looking at options for the intersection.

"That's got to be good for everybody concerned," he said.

"It is a dangerous intersection. It's not going to be an easy fix, but it can't be left like it is.

"I'm glad they haven't shelved it and I hope they keep on trying to find a remedy."

Last week, the NPDC released crash statistics showing the intersection had recorded just one crash in the past five years.

The statistics showed there were 186 worse intersections in the New Plymouth District in terms of crashes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've seen a couple of them on school runs since Transit took over the operation, but they're definately not using them as much as before.

Looks like they are still using drivers from Palmerston North for the city runs. Must be costing them a fortune! :bash:
 

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WOW I was in New Plymouth yesterday and got stuck in a traffic jam heading North at rush hour. I had no idea it was that busy! :eek:hno:

That express way is going to be pretty impressive :banana:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There has been some discussion recently around providing additional PT services in the Eastern suburbs of the city, and given the lack of central government funding for roading schemes,I think this is going to be the only way in which congestion can be alleviated long-term.

This does however still leave the issue of route security, with only one exit point for traffic heading North.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can vouch for this. Packed into a articulated bus with people squashed up against the doors! And that was just one of several in service on that route :nuts:

Rugby Bus Shuttles a Huge Success

Thu 04 Sep 2008

All Blacks fans took to the free shuttle bus service last night (Wednesday) in numbers that exceeded expectations.

About 5,000 people chose to travel from the central city to Yarrow Stadium for last night’s rugby test match.

“That means a good 20 per cent of the total crowd at Yarrow Stadium travelled there by shuttle bus,” says Manager Recreation and Events Paul Nisbet.

“That’s a huge percentage, and completely beyond our expectations.

“We’re stoked the service ran so well and that the public took to it in such numbers.”

Ten buses ran in a continual loop from 5.30pm until the start of the game, and also returned fans to the central city after fulltime.

Tranzit Coachlines Taranaki Operations Manager Michelle Durdle says the last bus came off the road at 10.30pm.

“This service was a first for such a big event in Taranaki, but we knew that a lot of people would use it if they knew about it – and that’s how it turned out,” she says.

As well as the shuttle buses, the test match attracted about 45 chartered coaches – resulting in nearly one-third of the crowd arriving by some sort of bus transport.

“I’ve been in event management for 20 years in New Zealand and Australia and I’ve never seen such a large take-up of bus transport before,” says Mr Nisbet.
 
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