Business as usual, ‘not an option’ 

Roger Gordon

There is no long-term vision for public transport in Cambridge, says a Waipā district councillor.

In a personal submission to the Waikato Regional Council’s Public Transport Business Improvement Review, Roger Gordon voiced his concern at the lack of public transport options in Cambridge.

“I don’t believe that business as usual is an option. We do not have a strategic view of public transport for the town, and we are extremely limited in our ability to influence any positive outcomes,” he wrote.

Gordon’s comments criticised Cambridge’s relationship with public transport and the town’s rate of growth, geographical size, and pre-existing bottlenecks.

“We are just looking at the next three, four, five, six years, and if this current rate of growth continues, it is going to have a major impact on the transportation network, and also the requirement of some form of public transport,” he told The News.

According to Stats NZ, from 2018 to 2021 the population of Cambridge grew by 2600, or 10.1 per cent.

“I think now we have to look at Cambridge as a very big town, we just can’t assume that the challenges are the same as the smaller towns in the district.”

Although supportive of a proposed mode shift towards active forms of transport, Gordon told The News public transport was a necessity for Cambridge’s large retired community, who are less likely to engage with active transport.

Waipā District Council’s key performance indicators for public transport were another concern of Gordon’s.

“Waipā’s Public Transport Business Case is devoid of meaningful strategic KPI’s,” he wrote.

In a March workshop, Gordon also expressed frustration with the accuracy of the statistics used in Waipā’s Draft Transport Strategy.

He was told by consultant Robert Brodnax: “If you poke and probe any of these projections, you will find that they’re not 100 per cent accurate… as policy makers we have to work on something”.

The Waikato Regional Council discussed their Public Transport Business Improvement Review last Thursday, and Waipā District Council heard verbal submissions to its Draft Transport Strategy on Tuesday.

“It is still an ongoing discussion. On a district level and on a regional level,” Gordon said.

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