Submission on the Draft Waikato Regional Land Transport Programme 2009-2012


Name: Judy McDonald

Organisation: Living Streets Hamilton

Contact Address: 29 Claude St, Hamilton 3214

Phone: 07 8552019

Fax: 07 8552012

Mobile: 0274239191

Email: at


I would like to speak at a hearing


As a pedestrian advocacy group, Living Streets promotes the use of walking as a first choice in transport where possible for short trips, and also promotes walking for its recreational and fitness benefits. We are also concerned about public transport as walking and the use of public transport are intimately connected.


1. Buses: We have already presented a submission about bus services, and merely reiterate at this point that we are in full support of the most rapid possible development of local bus services to provide a genuine alternative to private car use within Hamilton, and between regional towns.


2. Distribution of proposed expenditure: We are concerned that in the proposed total expenditure for 2009 – 2012, a very tiny proportion of the funding is available for walking infrastructure, with even less for Public transport services and operations and Demand Management and Community Programmes. Bearing in mind the cost of roading, not just in terms of construction but also in terms of traffic safety, maintenance, public health, environmental damage and the unpredictable availability of petrochemical fuels, looking closely at ways to reduce our car-dependence can only be a positive move.


3. State Highways: We are particularly concerned at the very large amounts of money being dedicated to the production of new and improved infrastructure for state highways. This appears to be a policy of the new government and we have already expressed our disapproval of the idea, which seems to be going in precisely the opposite direction to most of the rest of the developed world. Most major cities overseas seem to have taken on board the need to become increasingly pedestrian friendly and to improve public transport. A useful reference is a very recent article from the Sydney Morning Herald, attached as an appendix to this submission.


4. Commuter Rail: Interest is just now being revived in the possibility of commuter train services to Auckland. We would enthusiastically support these, especially if they also provided links between Waikato towns on the main trunk line. A commuter service could not only allow business people to get to Auckland safely and comfortably, it could allow residents from Te Kuiti, Otorohanga and Te Awamutu among others to commute in to Hamilton either for work or pleasure. The service will not survive unless it runs at times designed to suit Waikato people. Past efforts have been almost totally Auckland-centred and have been poorly patronised as a result. To be workable, a service from the Waikato needs to get commuters to Auckland by 8.30 or 9am, and get them back at sensible times in the evening of the same day. There may need to be additional runs to allow a sensible commuter service within the Waikato alone (ie allowing school children and workers to get to Hamilton by 8am from outlying towns).


In general, we are very much in support of the intention to improve pedestrian facilities, safety, traffic management and security on regional roads, but fear that major state highway projects will not achieve this. An increased emphasis on all forms of public transport, and an increase emphasis on making walking and cycling truly viable and pleasant options, would suggest a much more sustainable future for the district.


Appendix: Need for light rail and pedestrian access in Sydney


Lack of light rail risks city's success:expert

  • Matthew Moore Urban Affairs Editor
  • March 28, 2009

A MEMBER of the group charged with rebuilding the country's infrastructure has warned that Sydney's failure to build a light rail system and improve pedestrian access is risking the city's economic future.

Professor Peter Newman, a member of the Infrastructure Australia group established by the Rudd Government, has warned the city stands to lose its "competitive edge" to Melbourne and to other cities such as New York, which are removing cars from streets to make them more inviting to pedestrians.

In an interview this week with the Herald, Professor Newman criticised the State Government's opposition to proposals for a light rail network running down George Street. He said it could be built within two years and was a critical step to getting more pedestrians into the city.

On Wednesday he also told a City of Sydney forum, City Talk, that banning cars from city streets and lanes, widening footpaths and building light rail systems through the central business district were measures being adopted around the world. Governments recognised that making cities inviting and vibrant was critical to attracting investment, Professor Newman said.

Young people controlled where a lot of investment went and they wanted to live in attractive cities "that are providing that edge that they are looking for", he said. "Without that they leave, and the capital does not come to those places.

"The processes of meeting and the capital investment that goes with that is now a global competition and that's based around how attractive the city's streets are."

He said Melbourne had bounced back from being a city in decline to one that was competitive globally after a massive increase in pedestrian traffic in the 10 years to 2004.

He welcomed efforts by the City of Sydney to increase pedestrians and cyclists.

For the full article, refer to:

Document Type: 
Region (NZ): 

About Us

Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

JOIN US and help with our campaigns