The Otago Regional Council's Regional Policy Statement proposes that transport networks (that means roads and stuff) should be integrated with public transport, a subject close to our hearts at Bus Go, part of philosophy known (in American) as Transit oriented development.

Here's the full proposed policy:

Policy 3.6.6

Reducing long term demand for fossil fuels

Reduce the long term demand for fossil fuels from Otago’s communities, by:

a) Encouraging the development of compact and well integrated urban areas, to reduce travel needs within those areas; and

b) Ensuring that transport infrastructure in urban areas has good connectivity, both within new urban areas and between new and existing urban areas, by:

i. Placing a high priority on walking, cycling, and public transport, where appropriate; and

ii. Maximising pedestrian and cycling networks connectivity, and integration with public transport; and

iii. Having high design standards for pedestrian and cyclist safety and amenity; and

c) Enabling the development or upgrade of transport infrastructure and associated facilities that:

i. Increase freight efficiency; or

ii. Foster the uptake of new technologies for more efficient energy uses, or renewable or lower emission transport fuels.

Here's troubleEdit

The trouble is, the DCC wants to water down this integration by adding just two words: "where available." If you make the policy read " ... integration with public transport, where available" then this allows developers to give no consideration to public transport. A school, a stadium or a suburb could be just plonked any old where with no access by transport other than cars. This could allow, for example, subdivisions with roads impassable for buses to be built, or developments with no room for bus stops.

This attack by our city council on regional policy is particularly chilling given the DCC's expressed interest in taking over public transport management from the ORC.

Bus Go has objected to the insertion of these two words. We agree with the Otago Regional Council. We believe transport networks should be integrated with public transport, end of story.