Media release

Last chance to have say on transport plans

Friday 27 February 2015

Southland and Otago residents have until the end of next week (6 March) to make submissions on the Draft Otago Southland Regional Land Transport Plans 2015-2021.

Environment Southland and the Otago Regional Council (ORC) have joined forces to create a single document that looks at the transport challenges facing both regions and the best way to align roading programmes.

Environment Southland and Southland Regional Transport Committee chairman Ali Timms said joining together to create these plans has highlighted an awareness that journeys don’t stop at regional boundaries.

“Many journeys span Otago and Southland and beyond, particularly the flow of freight to and from rural hinterlands, and the flow of visitors between the two regions,” she said.

Otago Regional Transport Committee chairman Cr Trevor Kempton (ORC) said that projects of significance to both regions will benefit from combined advocacy, whereas in the past plans were focused within each region.

“Flood mitigation work proposed on SH1 at Waikouaiti, Hilderthorpe and Maheno is considered to be of major importance to both Otago and Southland as this is a key freight route linking Southland, Otago and Canterbury,” Cr Kempton said.

“This is the one opportunity to have your say on what State Highway projects the New Zealand Transport Agency will undertake in either region,” he said.

Other projects include improvements in the Frankton Flats area of the Wakatipu Basin and an upgrade of the link between penguin viewing sites in the Catlins area.

The plans include all proposed state highway and council projects for Southland and Otago for the next six years.

To get national funding over the next three years a transport project must be included in the plans. The plans set out the transport strategy in Otago and Southland, which will guide future development.

Copies of the plans are available on the Environment Southland website and this website.

Hearing dates and locations are yet to be confirmed, but are likely to take place in the week beginning 16 March 2015. Copies of the final documents will be made available in August.