The case for change

Unfortunately, New Zealand’s high rate of road fatalities and injuries are only the tip of the iceberg.  Our transport system is underperforming in many critical areas: it is highly dependent on motor vehicles, prone to traffic congestion, lacks resilience, has poor integration between modes, is our fastest growing source of CO2 emissions, a significant cause of air pollution causing respiratory illness especially in young and old, and is often not safe - especially for vulnerable road users, thus the active modes of transport are not an option for many New Zealanders and lifestyles have become sedentary.

We cannot create safe travel for the active modes in isolation, New Zealand’s transport system needs to be transformed so that all modes are integrated into a safe, efficient and sustainable system.

The objectives for such a safe, efficient and sustainable transport system in New Zealand include supporting economic activity, improving the health, safety and accessibility of New Zealanders, while at the same time addressing climate change and other environmental impacts.

Download the PDF of our manifesto for a Safe, Efficient and Sustainable transport system in NZ by 2030.

Smarter spending

Greater investment in active transport to provide high quality facilities for people walking, cycling or using mobility aids. Increase investment for active modes to at least 5% of GPS to provide more and wider footpaths, safe pedestrian crossings, shared paths, protected cycle lanes and shoulders on rural roads. Review all transport projects (including maintenance) before implementation for opportunities to improve walking and cycling conditions.

Sensible speeds

Adopt the Vision Zero approach to speed management.

Typically this means 80km/h on undivided rural roads, 60km/h for unsealed roads and 30 km/h around schools, shops and community facilities.

Safe space

More safe pedestrians crossings (raised table) and treatment of unsignalised slip lanes.  Legislate for a mandatory 1.5 metres minimum overtaking gap around cyclists by motorists.

Education campaign to ensure motorists accessing driveways give way to pedestrians on the footpath. Stiffer penalties for motorists causing death or injury of pedestrians and cyclists.

Adopt the Road User Hierarchy (see Section 5.2 here) and implement in conjunction with good urban design.

Improve road safety

Adopt Vision Zero and make greater investment in road safety improvements, especially road median barriers, centreline rumble strips, road shoulders and foot paths on rural roads. More policing of our roads and effective enforcement focused on speed, seat belts, alcohol and mobile phone use.

Fewer trucks

Trucks are involved in 1 in 4 fatalities on our roads. Get more freight onto rail and coastal shipping (by having trucks pay their fair share for road maintenance. Restrict the heaviest trucks from accessing urban areas and roads not designed to handle their weight or mass.

Enhanced public transport

through greater investment and priority. Not only is it safer and build stronger, more equitable communities, it reduces congestion, transport pollution, and the need to build more roads.

Economic measures

These include road pricing, carbon tax on fossil fuels and car registration fees to encourage reduced use of private vehicles and ownership of smaller (or alternatives to) combustion vehicles. Implement a reward scheme to encourage more people to use public transport.

Remove the full hypothecation of fuel taxes, as this motivates NZTA to prioritise transport solutions for greater motor vehicle use. Review NZTA’s Financial Assistance Ratios and provide greater flexibility to the GPS ranges to remove project bias eg: Motorways over public transport.

Emission standards

Introduced as part of the Warrant of Fitness testing, eg: Euro 5 or 6

Replace NZTA’s Cost/Benefit business case

with multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to evaluate transport projects within the framework of the Hierarchy of Treatments for Transport Planning. This is a more transparent approach that considers the broader social, economic and environmental impacts.

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