The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) produced a draft 10-year Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) for the region with a public consultation planned for November 2006.
The GWRC strategy ‘seeks a resilient and sustainable transport network where getting around is easy, safe and affordable’.
The Land Transport Management Act 2003 stipulates that the RLTS must, among other things, ‘promote and protect public health’. To ensure it does, the GWRC commissioned an HIA that assessed the potential impacts of the RLTS on public health and community wellbeing.
Determinants of health were chosen for this HIA were physical activity, accessibility to services and the community, accident rates and changes in injuries and fatalities, reduced community connectedness (community severance) as a result of roads and/or traffic, and stress and anxiety.
The major recommendations of the HIA approach were:
- Incorporate social equity and affordability into the RLTS objectives and outcomes.
- Investigate changes in fare pricing structures and fare boundaries to improve equity and affordability.
- Increase the proportion of funding for public transport, walking and cycling, and reduce the proportion of funding for new roading, as new roading is not likely to promote health, while other modes of transport are.
- Make trade-offs explicit with regard to the mis-match between objectives and funding allocations.
- Initiate HIA in projects that flow out of this RLTS, and initiate HIA earlier in future RLTS planning processes.
- Strengthen the aims of the RLTS towards increased mode share for public transport and active modes and reduced dependence on private motor vehicles.
- The Regional Council Transport Committee will consider the recommendations of the HIA, a strategic environmental assessment, and submission on the draft strategy. The Council will finalise the strategy early in 2007.