Mayor Rachel Reese and Minister for Climate Change Issues James Shaw at the opening of the Maitai to Rocks Rd shared pathway. Photo: Supplied.

Walking, cycling and bus use increases across Nelson

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More people are using alternative means of transport in the region including buses, cycling and walking.

The Nelson City Council’s Annual Monitoring Report was delivered to a Regional Transport Committee meeting today which highlighted several positive outcomes from the past year.

Nelson’s NBus service has seen an increase in patronage over the last year with bus use between Nelson and Richmond at an all time high.

Almost 418,000 trips were taken on the NBus service in the 12 months from July 1 2108 to June 30 2019, which represents a 5.1 per cent increase compared with the previous year.

Just under 355,000 of these trips were between Nelson and Richmond with a further 5767 taking advantage of Stoke routes including the recently introduced Stoke Loop.

Council says the new, streamlined Stoke loop service is proving to be a fit-for-purpose addition to Nelson’s public transport network and making a strong contribution to this improved result.

An increase in walking and cycling on Rocks and Waimea Rd as well as the Railway Reserve was also observed, with the number of people choosing to walk or cycle each day rising from 868 in 2014 to 1216 in 2018.

Not all reporting was positive though with most commuters choosing to travel alone in their vehicles.

Surveying on Rocks Rd and Waimea Rd during peak times show an average of 79 per cent of vehicles only had 1 occupant.

The number of crashes on our road network has also increased which reflects a national trend.

Travel times on key arterial routes are increasing and often sit outside council’s target levels of service, with “unacceptable numbers” ‘rat-running’ through residential streets as frustrated motorists look to avoid clogged arterial routes.