An effective transport network is critical for Christchurch to recover from the recent earthquakes and for the city to attract new investment, businesses and people, says Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker.
"The City Council has today adopted the Draft Christchurch Transport Plan for consultation, a 30-year vision to keep the city moving forward by providing transport choices to connect people and places."
He says it is important to understand the Draft Plan is not about repairing the roads following the earthquakes. "While the first decade of the Plan's implementation will no doubt be focused on replacing the damaged infrastructure, the key during this phase will be looking for opportunities to enhance the network, protect future corridors and target investments to support the long-term vision of the Plan.
"As the city is rebuilt, we also have a unique opportunity to develop a safe, connected cycle network that will make it easier for people to cycle and to address the great ideas that have come through the Central City Plan and the Suburban Centres Master Plans."
The Draft Christchurch Transport Plan is aimed at creating a city which is easier to move around by improving access and providing travel choice to support a vibrant economy, create stronger communities and a healthier environment.
Mr Parker says the greatest challenges facing the city's transport network are earthquake damage, the change in travel patterns, traffic congestion, the city's aging population and increasing fuel prices.
He says through the Draft Plan, the Council will also look to develop local freight routes to improve access to and between the Christchurch International Airport, Lyttelton Port and freight hubs, and a freight strategy to manage growth and improve reliability of regional freight movement.
Implementation of this Plan presents one of the greatest opportunities for Christchurch to create a world-class cycle network.
"The draft Plan looks to strengthen the integration of land use and transport planning, while at the same time looking to create opportunities to adapt to climate change and peak oil.
"What we are looking to achieve is more efficient use of the road network, as well as ensuring that cars, freight, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians are catered for where they are most appropriate. A key change in our thinking is to match transport solutions to land use needs, rather than simply creating road networks which are solely focused on shifting vehicles about the city."
Mr Parker says fundamental to the development of the Plan is a long-term commitment from Council and its partner agencies to fund the projects which will improve the city's transport network.
He encourages the community to take time to comment on the Draft Plan as the final document will determine how the city's transport network evolves and develops during the next 30 years.
A consultation process will be held from 18 July to 5pm on 23 August 2012. People can make a submission online at www.ccc.govt.nz/HaveYourSay, by email to CTP@ccc.govt.nz or in writing.
A number of community drop-in sessions will also be held during July and August.
For more information visit www.ccc.govt.nz/christchurchtransportplan