More light rail discussions, again, for greater Christchurch

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 30, 2021 |

Another report looking at a Mass Rapid Transit system for Greater Christchurch has been released suggesting light rail, as one option, for the region.

The Greater Christchurch Partnership, which is made up of Canterbury mayors, Iwi and officials, released its 68 page report findings today.

In its “executive summary” it said “Christchurch aspires to be a low-carbon city with transport choices, good urban amenity, and strong economic performance, particularly of the central city. Public transport has a key role to play in realising this.”

Speaking on behalf of the Partnership, Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel said “the interim results help us understand the feasibility of some mass rapid transit scenarios in the context of long-term population growth, and it has showed that further investigation was warranted.”

 “MRT will need to be supported with population and employment growth close to stations along the route.”

 NZ Transport Agency and the local councils have been investigating the likely implications of various scenarios for a frequent and high capacity public transport connection running north to Rangiora and south-west to Rolleston. 

 The Interim Report looks at how MRT could work as Greater Christchurch grows over the next 30 years, by assessing three scenarios, including a scenario utilising the existing heavy rail corridor, and two street running scenarios using either buses or light rail.

Under all three scenarios, the report finds there would need to be higher population density around the stations along the route to secure the viability of the system. 

Dalziel said this meant the findings needed to be considered in the context of broader planning for future growth.

“This is why we are proposing that the next phase of MRT be fully integrated with the development of the spatial plan that the Partnership is preparing for Greater Christchurch.”

Read the full report here

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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