Minutes of a Meeting of the Regional Transport Committee

 

Date:                                    Friday 9 September 2022

Time:                                    9.01am

Venue:

Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street

NAPIER

 

Present:                              Cr M Williams – HBRC – Chair

Cr C Lambert – HBRC – Deputy Chair

Mayor A Walker – CHBDC

Cr K Price – NCC

L Stewart – Waka Kotahi/NZTA

 

 

Alternates:                        Deputy Mayor T Kerr – HDC

 

 

 

In Attendance:                 A Robin – HBRC Māori Committee

P Michaelsen – AA (virtually)

Cr J Van Beek – Cycling Governance Group (left at 2.32pm)

Cr K Taylor – CHBDC

I Emmerson – Road Transport Association

K Brunton - HBRC Group Manager Policy and Regulation

K Nimon  - HBRC Transport Manager

P Martin – Senior Governance Advisor

 

TAG                                       L Malde – Waka Kotahi

S Downs – Waka Kotahi

T Mills – NCC  (virtually)

S McKinley – CHBDC  (virtually)

M Hardie – WDC (virtually from 9.42am)

J Pannu – HDC (virtually)


1.         Welcome/Karakia /apologies/notices

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and led an opening karakia.

No apologies were received. Seventy seconds of silence were held to acknowledge the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II

2.         Conflict of Interest Declarations

There were no conflicts of interest declared.

3.         Confirmation of Minutes of the Regional Transport Committee held on 10 June 2022

 

 

RTC25/22

Resolution:

Minutes of the Regional Transport Committee held on Friday, 10 June 2022, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed as a true and correct copy.

Kerr/Walker

CARRIED

 

4.

Follow-ups from previous Regional Transport Committee meetings

 

The follow ups were taken as read

RTC26/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee receives and notes the Follow-ups from previous Regional Transport Committee meetings.

Williams/Lambert

CARRIED

 

5.

Call for Minor items not on the Agenda

 

Topic

Raised by

No items raised

 

 

6.

Deputation from Walter Breustedt on transport decarbonisation

 

Tania Kerr introduced Walter Breustedt who delivered a presentation highlighting:

·      Government policies are largely focussed on increasing the electric vehicle fleet – these all have batteries which create four to seven tonnes of CO2 during manufacture

·      There is a place for traditional combustion engines – we need to manage these better including reducing the extent of engine idling time. In some other parts of the world stationary vehicle idling is an offence

·      A practical step to reduce emissions in HB would be to target the courier delivery fleet. Each courier van stops/idles 150 to 300 times per day for up to five minutes a time. Eliminating such idling for each van would reduce emissions by 2.6 to 3.1 tons of CO2 p.a. and reduce fuel costs for the operator by $1,900 to $2,400 p.a.

·      Suggest that HB introduce a twelve month trial involving courier delivery businesses 

RTC27/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee receives and notes the Deputation from Walter Breustedt on transport decarbonisation verbal report and presentation.

Kerr/Williams

CARRIED

 

7.

Submissions received on the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan

 

Chair introduced this item and set out the process to be used throughout the day. Following the hearings today, the Committee will be deliberating on 16 September 2022, following which they will be providing recommendations on the proposal for consideration by HBRC on 28 September 2022. Submitter comments below include Committee member responses to question/s raised by the submitter

 

·      Anders Christopherson (Submitter 3)

Regular bus user generally in favour of the proposal, particularly keen on bus timetables going beyond six pm and even later in the 2030 phase. Concerned that there will not be enough drivers available to expand the service - does not want to see cancellations like those experienced recently. Would consider rates being increased to speed up the rollout of the proposal. Does not have a preference for increased Friday and/or Saturday services.

·      Te Ara Bergstrom (Submitter 29)

Has lived in Europe for many years where train services are common and well patronised. Too much reliance on cars in NZ, would like to see passenger train options across HB and in particular CHB – a frequent light rail service.

·      Glenys Libby (Submitter 42)

Clive resident – inadequate bus services to/from Clive. Should be a regular (20min) service particularly for children and the elderly in the area. Clive/Haumoana/Te Awanga ratepayers contribute to the public transport network like everybody else but only get two buses a day. This only suits commuters to Napier and Hastings. There have been many similar submissions from Clive residents seeking at least an hourly service

·      Simon Nixon (Submitter 221)

Supports the proposal but costs are too high. Need to get more passengers on the buses. Believes that 20 minute services would be ideal; some are 10 minutes in the proposal. Some routes are too long – need more core bus services to hubs.

·      Alan Spinks (Submitter 214)

Cars and buses are too slow - they simply congest the same roads. Electric trains are the solution- can carry pasengers, bikes, prams and pets. People won’t walk much more than four minutes to catch a bus and are reluctant to wait any length of time – services being planned are not frequent enough. Suggest a loop service around city centres with suburban lines from there – walking distance less than five minutes’ walk to a loop connection/ bus stop. Need a train service between Napier and Hastings including to the airport

·      Paula Fern (Submitter 141)

Lives in CHB and has submitted to past plans  – the proposed bus service in CHB is not adequate, need to get vehicles of all types off the road. CHB and the wider province need an electric railcar service. Committee should be talking to rail and the Government about such a service. A feasibility study for rail was completed some time ago and indicated costs then of $10/$12m. The introduction of a CHB bus service is a practical/timely next step with perhaps rail being a long term solution.

·      Duncan Darroch (Submitter 225)

Clive resident -representing Bike HB. Endorses the proposed shift/focus from service coverage to patronage. HB bike trails needs to be supported as part of the overall transport network – multi modal journeys are the answer. Build infrastructure/hubs at bus stops to enable cyclists, scooter riders etc to park and ride – not just cars.  Clive could be one of the hubs with an hourly bus service and increased bike carrying capacity on the buses. Bike trails could be used by a variety of users beyond walkers and cyclists – scooters, small motorcycles. Cape community needs a bus loop – cost is not the issue; accessibility and frequency of services are key factors. Bus stops need to include a shelter, better signage (electronic) and have cycle lock up facilities

·      Russell Turnbull (Submitter 206) virtually

Go Bus – national bus operator and current HBRC bus contractor. Four matters to raise; cash fares, reliability, span of hours and routes including MyWay trial. Cash needs to be removed as a fare option (about 10% of revenue) – it is elsewhere in NZ and immediately reduces assaults and robberies. Service reliability is affected by the distance of bus routes – there are some longer routes being proposed. During peak traffic loads it would ideal to have priority bus lanes and signal jumps at traffic lights to maintain service reliability. Real time electronic signage would also benefit bus users by reducing anxiety. Expanding service times could be a safety issue for drivers. New routes planned for Hastings should be held off until the MyWay trial has been completed – it is going very well. Westshore services are being diminished. CHB service should not be limited to just peak times. Reliability is a major concern for submitters – bus driver shortage continues to be an issue. Go Bus is actively recruiting; driver safety and pay are the major issues

·      Mark Read (Submitter 203)  virtually

Horizons Council. Adopted their Public Transport Plan two weeks ago - wish to share their experience/contents of the plan. Similar to HB – there is a large rural area that needs to serviced – difficult for any Council to provide a regionwide  service and also into other adjacent regions. Horizons’ plan includes statement supporting rail opportunities into the future. Are looking to strengthen their relationship with HBRC particularly around the vision for future transport options across regional boundaries.

·      Grace Fulford (Submitter 199)

Turners and Growers (T & G) representative. T & G is based in Whakatu industrial park and would like to see a specific service for their shift workers and other employers in the area. Many current and potential employees have limited transport options – suggest a bus service similar to a school run/express service but matching shift patterns. Potentially business could alter their shifts to fit in with a transport service. Employers may be willing to contribute to a service to improve staff recruitment/ retention.

·      Carol-Ann Guard (Submitter 99)

From the disability community. Having a bus service available to the disability community is the issue – none in CHB for instance. MyWay service has been a revelation to the community and needs to be expanded – adding an advance booking service would be useful. Travel should be free for support people. Drivers should receive training on managing disabled customers and a symbol should be added to the Bee card to easily identify disabled passengers. Communications about bus timetable changes and other matters should be ‘on the bus’ as well as usual media channels. Bus stops should be improved and relocated to public amenities such as pools, libraries, medical centres. A disability reference group should be established to enable stronger connection between the sector and the Committee/TAG.

·      Michelle Lucas (Submitter 222)

CCS Disability Action. Public transport is one of the major issues facing the disabled community. My Way – on demand bus service has been excellent; a game changer for the community. Transport costs are excessive – fare exemptions for support workers/carers should be happening. Has research been carried out on why ‘journeys are not taken’? There needs to be clear access routes to bus stops. All aspects of the proposed plan are important – the cost, time saving/frequency and the location of bus stops.

·      Blanche Paewai – Ashcroft (Submitter 219)

Sport HB – disability service provider. Disability sector is particularly vulnerable to weather- often will not travel from home to a bus stop in poor weather. MyWay service is excellent as it is door to door – concession cards needed for support people. CHB bus service is needed – bus timetables and change information need to be more widely available including on buses themselves. Rail is an ideal solution for the disabled – easier to access than buses.

·      James Howard/Chris Candy (Submitter 226)

Tranzit Group- bus operators. General support for the proposal particularly route 12 - introduce route 11 (Whakatu) earlier than planned. Driver safety is an issue particularly with the introduction of late night services. CHB service is needed and would be well used- will provide certainty. Timetabling drivers for new routes/shifts needs to be looked at as drivers do want to have split shifts.  Additional services/hours will aid driver recruitment.

·      Kate Taylor / Josh Llyod

CHBDC . Plan should be inspirational – it should include rail. A three day community survey conducted recently about the plan yielded 383 responses – transport is important and rail is recognised as the ‘green’ option. The planned bus service should be brought forward and extended to beyond commuters - include weekends, holidays. New services should not be funded by a rate increase -service and frequency are important but cost is a major factor. CHBDC could look at providing a park and ride facility in the future.

·      Robin and Margaret Gwynn (Submitter 211)

Climate change is upon us – the plan does not include how to reduce emissions; there is no mention of electric buses or trains. Moving people onto public transport may contribute to reducing emissions. Climate change is the issue yet the plan only includes one item –buses. The plan does not seem to connect to any other cities / regions nearby – it is not visionary, there are only short terms goals.

RTC28/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1.      Receives and considers the written submissions and social media feedback on the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-2032 as attached

2.      Receives and considers the verbal submissions on the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-2032 as presented by members of the community

3.     Receives and accepts fifteen late submissions received on the future of rail in HB

Williams/Kerr

CARRIED

 

8.

Active Transport

 

Katie Nimon introduced this item with discussion highlighting:

·      Following the June 2022 Regional Transport Committee (RTC) meeting, TAG met and recognised that TAG itself should be considering all transport modes in more depth. TAG should also be considering matters such as climate change, emissions reduction, planning, engineering, road safety etc.

·      Active transport community representatives could attend appropriate TAG meetings /workstreams as a reference group  

·      Active transport interests could be represented at RTC level by way of an advisory member (non-voting). The Committee’s terms of reference would need to be amended through the triennium Committee establishment process (post LG elections) to achieve such representation. RTC voting membership is set by the Land Transport Management Act 2003

·      A regional cycling governance group has existed for a number of years and they attend HDC active transport committee meetings. This group has advocated for strengthening the active transport voice across HB and had expected to have full voting representation at RTC level. The proposal now is that a community appointed active transport group would be interacting at TAG level and perhaps also be an advisory member of RTC

·      The regional cycling governance group was initially established to assist local Councils when the cycling trails were established and is not viewed as being representative of all active transport modes. The group has been developing a regional cycle plan – this is in draft form as it does not have a whole of network approach     

·      The most recent Regional Transport Plan (RLTP) has clearly recognised active transport as a key factor in reducing vehicle kilometres travelled/achieving emissions reductions. RTC now has an integrated network approach rather than a road network emphasis

·      Any community based Regional Active Transport Committee (RATC) or similar, would need to be a stand-alone entity as other RTC advisory members are, rather than being an entity that is administered by HBRC or another Council

·      Proposed structure/representation for active transport groups is similar to other regions across the Central NI where it works well

·      A reference group for the disability sector should be considered by TAG

RTC29/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1.     Receives and notes the Active Transport staff report

 

2.       Acknowledges the intended formation of a Hawke’s Bay Regional Active Transport Committee (RATC) comprising a community appointed and facilitated committee representing active transport interests at regional level, including cycling and walking, as the key community stakeholder for all future transport infrastructure planning and investment decisions with active transport implications

 

3.       Recommends that the terms of reference of the Committee be amended (as soon as possible in the next triennium) to:

3.1   Record active transport as an express function of the Committee, with active transport to be a standing agenda item at each Regional Transport Committee meeting

3.2       Include an advisory member dedicated to Active Transport on the Regional Transport Committee (with the intent that this would be the Chair of the RATC when established)

3.3       Require that the Technical Advisory Group to invite the Active Transport advisory member to attend all workstream discussions involving active transport, and consult the RATC (when established) regarding the active transport implications of all transport infrastructure planning and investment decisions in the region.

Williams/Kerr

CARRIED

 

9.

Transport Manager’s September 2022 report

 

Katie Nimon introduced this item with highlights including:

·      Council updates have been provided by the appropriate TAG team members. CHBDC report shows a large number of slips in their catchment following many rain events over the past few months

·      MyWay trial was launched without taking up the Government half price bus fare scheme as it was considered this might impact its results. The community card pricing concession is being connected to Bee Cards and will be available from 1 February 2023

·      Driver Licencing – NZTA are trialling (in Northland and Gisborne) a scheme to allow rurally isolated regions to get licence testing in place. The scheme is likely to be expanded into other areas such as HB early in 2023. An update will be provided at the March 2023 Committee meeting

·      Napier trial of MyWay is being developed, hopefully starting in July 2023

·      A freight distribution business case is being developed for consideration during the next RLTP cycle. Having adequate TAG resources has been impediment to progressing this project and staffing levels are being increased   

RTC30/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee receives and notes the Transport Manager’s September 2022 report.

Price/Walker

CARRIED

 

10.

NZTA Central Region - Regional Relationships Director's September 2022 report

 

Linda Stewart introduced this item highlighting:

·      $16.95m is budgeted over the next four years to improve access to driver testing in remote areas

·      Coastal shipping. Waka Kotahi is co-investing with four private companies to improve shipping services. There are potentially significant decarbonisation and road congestion benefits

·      HB RLTP budget tracking information/graphs were provided. Funding for the RLTP period (2021-24) needs to be utilised in that time period

·      Significant activities in the region include 13 bridges being strengthened in Hastings area. SH51 safety improvement design phase is well underway

·      Maintenance programme for 2022/23 year covers 141 sites with a total roading distance of 123kms

·      SH5 timelines have been pushed back to allow a steering group, reference group, the governance structure, and an independent Chair to be put in place. The business case for SH5 looks at strategic matters, however it also needs to include maintenance and operational matters as well as feedback received on the recently reduced speed limit  

·      In future, highway speed limit reviews will involve more consultation with Councils and local communities. This may enable roads with a shorter distance to be reviewed quickly, particularly where the community support reducing speed limits

·      NZTA has an asset management plan in place to identify potential issues in advance rather than being reactive to problems as they occur. Road bridges are fully assessed every six years and routinely inspected every two years. Budgets for such maintenance/repairs are a competitive process. Issues have been identified with SH2 Esk Valley bridge – it is likely that this will be strengthened rather than replaced

·      Strategic case for freight and logging – Waka Kotahi has established the scope of this project and are now considering how to prioritise the roads involved. A draft plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year with an update to be provided to the Committee early in 2023  

RTC31/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee receives and notes the NZTA Central Region – Regional Relationships Director’s September 2022 Report.

Williams/Kerr

CARRIED

 

12.

Waka Kotahi update  - Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP)

 

Lisa Malde introduced this item providing a presentation that highlighted:

·      ERP internationally have three mantras – Avoid emissions, Shift travel modes and Improve vehicle efficiency – collectively known as ASI

·      Two thirds of NZ emissions are produced by the light vehicle fleet

·      Government emission reduction target is 41% by 2035. Three focus areas have been identified to reduce reliance on cars by

·   supporting active and public transport

·   rapid adoption of low emissions vehicles

·   decarbonising heavy transport and freight  

·      Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) reduction targets for regions and cities will be set by the end of 2022. Councils will need to incorporate ERP targets, policies etc in their 2024 LTPs

·      Indicative VKT reduction target for Napier/Hastings combined urban area is 16%; major city targets are in 20% - 35% range

·      Transport Choices funding package of $1.5b is in place to assist the country to meet ERP targets. There is specific funding for recruiting and retaining bus drivers, decarbonising the public transport fleet, vehicle scrapping and replace scheme and to help build active transport networks

·      HBDHB undertook a transport mode shift campaign with its staff and achieved an 18% reduction in private car use in a two year period

·      It is not yet clear who will be leading regional ERPs – Councils or Regional Transport Committees 

RTC32/22

Resolution:

That the HB Regional Transport Committee receives and notes the Waka Kotahi update – Emissions Reduction Plan staff report.

Williams/Kerr

CARRIED

 

11.

Verbal updates by advisory representatives

 

Chair led discussion with highlights including:

·          KiwiRail has been encouraged to be an active member of the RTC but has not been - this is  particularly important as a new triennium is about to commence. TAG will approach KiwiRail to ascertain who their representative will be

·          AA acknowledged the assistance of Waka Kotahi in addressing road user issues brought to their attention by AA members 

RTC33/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee receives the “Verbal updates by advisory representatives”

Williams/Walker

CARRIED

 

 

13.

General business

 

During the course of the meeting, Council representation on the Regional Transport Committee (RTC) was discussed:

·      For flexibility, it is suggested that HBRC (when reviewing the Committee terms of reference at the triennium) considers including all Mayors and HBRC Chair as ex-officio members of RTC. This would see two Councillors being appointed as the representative and the alternate for CHBDC, HDC, NCC and WDC rather than requiring one of the representatives to be the Mayor of each of these Councils

RTC34/22

Resolution:

That the Regional Transport Committee:

1.       Supports an amendment being made to its Terms of Reference, during the triennium Committee structure review process, to allow the Hawke’s Bay Mayors and HBRC Chair to be ex officio members of the RTC.

Price/Walker

CARRIED

 

14.

Bayview-Whirinaki Cycleway Project closure

RTC35/22

Resolution:

 

General subject of the item to be considered

Reason for passing this resolution

Grounds under section 48(1) for the passing of the resolution

Bayview-Whirinaki Cycleway Project Closure

7(2)s7(2)(a) That the public conduct of this agenda item would be likely to result in the disclosure of information where the withholding of the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons.

The Council is specified, in the First Schedule to this Act, as a body to which the Act applies.

 

Williams/Walker

CARRIED

 

The meeting went into public excluded session at 3.55pm and out of public excluded session at 4.02pm

 

Closure:

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 4.02pm Friday, 9 September 2022.

 

Signed as a true and correct record.

 

 

 

DATE: ................................................                           CHAIRMAN: ...............................................