Parking charges, cycle lanes and a possible new bypass are coming to Richmond as part of a Tasman District Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport initiative.

The ‘Richmond Transport Business Case’ (PBC) aims to provide safer roads and greater travel options for people in Richmond, including walking, cycling and using buses.

Tasman District Council’s community infrastructure manager Richard Kirby says Richmond is evolving from being a rural support town to being one of the fastest growing urban areas in the region, if not the country.

“We need to take account of the transportation choices available to people in planning for denser communities,” he says.

The plans are forecast over the next 30 years with short, medium and long-term changes proposed. Some of the short-term changes include parking fees in the town centre and cycle lanes on Hill Street, Champion Road, Wensley Road, Queen Street, Hart Road and Salisbury Road.

Creating the cycle lanes will mean some on-street parking may need to be removed.

A new 30kmh speed limit zone will be introduced between Oxford Street, Talbot Street, Salisbury Road and Gladstone Road.

Waka Kotahi director of regional relationships, Emma Speight, says the PBC is an important step towards helping address current and future transport issues within and around Richmond.

“In recent years we have seen an increase in the amount of traffic and businesses using local roads within Richmond and an increase in commercial vehicles passing through to Nelson and freight going to the Port.”

The PBC looks to address these issues, while ensuring the cycling and walking paths, roads, and public transport can deal with this growth. Council says it’s also a step towards getting funding for the projects and ensuring that the right transport solutions are identified.

Proposed improvements in the central Richmond area will extend along the Waimea Plains from Wairoa River to the south, Waimea River to the north and Champion Road to the east. A large area also extends out as far as Wakefield.

Medium-term plans include a bus terminal on Lower Queen Street with park and ride options for surrounding areas; and longer-term plans will see a new car park building for the town centre and a possible bypass. If a bypass is needed, Gladstone Road would become a local road, not a state highway, and cycle lanes could be added.

Before finalising the long-term programme, the short and medium-term solutions will be reviewed. If further improvements are needed, a business case will be undertaken to investigate whether the Hope bypass is needed.

The community is being encouraged to give feedback on the plans. Have your say online or at the drop-in sessions listed below. Feedback is open until 5pm on Friday 13 August, and Emma says she encourages everyone who lives, works and travels through the area to comment over the next four weeks.

“We are looking forward to hearing from the community to see what they think about what we are proposing,” she says.

To view the plans, go to nzta.govt.nz/richmondpbc.

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