21 April 2024

NZTA approves funding of School Link transport project to connect eastern city

Hamilton City Council has welcomed the decision from New Zealand Transport Agency(NZTA) to help fund transport improvements to connect schools and neighbourhoods across the eastern part of Hamilton.

The programme aims to deliver a raft of transport improvements along Hukanui and Peachgrove roads, linking the areas where there is a high concentration of schools and education centres with neighbouring areas and the central city.

Confirmed late last year, the funding of $2.8 million – of which NZTA are providing 51% – is for the consultation and design of School Link, a dedicated project under the Eastern Pathways programme.

School Link project gets approval
School Link improvements will give more transport options (Photo/supplied)

The vision for School Link is for people to be able to walk safely and confidently, cycle, scooter or catch the bus – reducing the number of cars on the road during school pick-up and drop-off times, and to help ease congestion.

Welcoming the decision, Infrastructure Operations Committee Chair, Councillor Angela O’Leary, said “This funding decision is wonderful news and will give Hamiltonians greater choice when it comes to their transport options.

“It’s important Council invests in the right transport infrastructure, facilities and connections to keep our city moving – now and in the future.”

The School Link corridor is a key north-south transport route in Hamilton, extending from Hukanui Road in the north to Peachgrove Road in the south, between Wairere Drive and Clyde Street. The School Link route connects 19 schools with over 9,500 students and is surrounded by residential housing, shopping centres, churches, sports fields, and retirement villages.

Although the main School Link route has public transport options and is also used by pedestrians and cyclists, the private car is currently the most frequently used mode of transport along and around the route. Many roads and intersections in the area have a poor safety record involving cyclists and pedestrians.

The full budget required to deliver School Link is $28 million. The project will be delivered in sections across the next few years, dependent on funding, with the most critical of those to be completed first.

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