At its recent Annual Plan deliberation meeting, Waikato Regional Council took two major steps to increase public transport services in Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki Districts.
Existing public transport services in these two districts will now be rated by Waikato Regional Council — taking this role over from the district councils. 79% of submitters in the public consultation on the council’s Annual Plan agreed this should happen.
“This rating decision will allow much better integration of new public transport services across District Council boundaries. It is much more efficient for the Regional Council to both rate for and provide the services”, said Denis Tegg, Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council
Secondly, Waikato Regional Council will now carry out further consultation with all communities to ensure that any new public transport services have routes and timetables that best suit their needs.
77% of submitters in the annual plan consultation agreed with the high-level proposals for better public transport services in these districts. Now those proposals can be refined and expanded if there is sufficient public support.
“From the groundwork that I did with local community boards and community groups in the last few years, I was always very confident that there would be strong public support for new services. It is very pleasing that this has been confirmed through this consultation”, said Cr Tegg.
“At the moment the government’s transport agency Waka Kotahi has fully allocated all of its funding for public transport. By carrying out detailed forward planning now, the council is placing itself in the best position to obtain new funding when this becomes available. The government has given a high priority to reducing transport emissions through the greater uptake of public transport.”
“We are now much further ahead with our public consultation and planning for public transport than any other rural part of the Waikato region. We are therefore much better placed to secure funding in Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki.” Cr Tegg said.
The majority of submitters on the annual plan consultation favoured any new services receiving the 51% government subsidy, rather than the council rating for the full cost of the service.
Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council