Our plans for transport

We want to be able to move people and goods around efficiently and safely.

Over the past few years, we’ve heard your concerns loud and clear. You want better roads and we’re working hard to make that happen.

Our roads are a tricky challenge though – they were built decades ago and were not built to cope with the number of vehicles and heavy trucks using them as they do today, which is only increasing. We also have another complicating factor that most other cities don’t have to deal with – underlying weak supporting clay soils beneath our roads. This means water absorbs easily and can lead to pavement cracks, potholes or damage in our roads more quickly.

The regional freight ring road will assist with this by redirecting heavy traffic away from residential streets and help enable the development of identified growth areas.

Rebuilding roads once they have completely deteriorated so that they need to be replaced rather than repaired is very costly, sometimes costing 20 times more than if they are kept on top of. Fixing all our roads isn’t going to be something that happens overnight, but you can be assured that we will continue to be investing in improving our roads.

Currently, we spend $13M a year in our road maintenance contract which looks after road repairs, drainage, road vegetation, traffic signage, footpaths, reseals, pavement reconstruction, street sweeping, streetlights, cycle paths and structural maintenance for culverts and bridges.

We have a partnership with NZ Transport Agency – Waka Kotahi, which funds around half the cost of our transport projects. Over the past year we formally entered a partnership called Palmerston North Integrated Transport Initiative (PNITI) to make major changes to improve our transport network.

We're spending $481M on new transport projects over the next decade. Around $210M of that will come from NZTA.

Proposed new projects that will cost more than $10M

The amount stated is the total cost of the project. We’ve assumed that for these projects we may receive around $210M from NZ Transport Agency – Waka Kotahi.

  • $88M – low-cost measures to meet government direction
  • $69M – improvements for key streets in the city
  • $55M – shared pathways (including Manawatū to Ashhurst River Pathway and Feilding to Palmy shared pathway)
  • $32M – new roads in Kākātangiata
  • $31M – cycleways in the city
  • $28M – improving roads in Aokautere to support growth
  • $23M – new roads to support industrial growth in the northeast of our city (Te Utanganui)
  • $22M – our City Centre Transformation – Street upgrade programme
  • $21M – a new bus hub to replace the Main St terminal
  • $16M – replace bridges around Bunnythorpe to support growth
  • $12M – safety improvements for Stoney Creek Rd
  • $12M – safety improvements for Kelvin Grove Rd

The proposed regional freight ring road is the critical project within the PNITI. This includes 70 new major projects over the next 30 years and will help us to build a more balanced network that allows for more people to walk, cycle or use public transport to get around. By creating a system that allows for all transport modes, we can reduce the congestion on our roads and reduce the wear and tear of the road surfaces.

It is likely that the priority of the projects will change under the Government's new transport policies, and we will be advocating strongly for the regional freight ring road to be delivered earlier then previously planned.

We know people are keen to see trucks stop using our residential streets, and that will come to life in time with a regional ring road around our city, as well as a second bridge across the river. We will also need to do other core transport-related projects first to make our city streets safer, offer more choices for people to travel and ensure we’re planning new or upgraded road to support new residential and industrial growth.

Projects to do this include:

  • new roads
  • safer intersections
  • cycleways throughout our city
  • making it safer and easier for people to choose to walk, cycle or catch a bus
  • slowing speeds and making it easier for pedestrians to use our city centre safely.

Read more about the Palmerston North Integrated Transport Initiative on the NZTA website