Land Transport

Providing and managing the land transport system is a key issue facing regional and district councils as well as other providers of land transport. There is a need for strong relationships and integration between policies and strategies at both a strategic and plan level.

To this end this guidance note aims to:

  • clarify the role that RMA regional policy statements and plans assume in achieving integrated land transport planning
  • identify relevant legislation, strategies, policies and agencies
  • outline how land transport planning can be more effectively incorporated into district plans.


'Land transport' covers all land-based transportation systems that provide for the movement of people, goods and services, and includes the following:

  • road networks from the state highways to local roads
  • rail networks
  • provisions for pedestrians and cyclists
  • public transport networks (services and infrastructure).

The land transport system plays a vital role in linking communities within a district and linking those communities with other districts and regions. As a physical resource of strategic importance, the land transport system needs to be managed, and protected from adverse effects (that may arise from land uses) that could affect the provision of an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport. Similarly, adverse environmental effects on land use activities resulting from land transport systems also need to be managed.

Specific concerns in relation to land transport include:

  • increased reliance on single-occupant motor vehicle trips, and increased vehicle kilometres
  • declining future car use for certain groups (e.g. younger drivers) and the need for flexibility to enable the system to respond
  • growing congestion on the road network, and increased journey times
  • reduced ability for travel needs to be met by public transport and walking and cycling
  • reduced accessibility for older people and others in society who do not have a car or are unable to use one
  • ribbon and other dispersed development along arterial routes, with vehicles moving into and out of these developments, impeding the free flow of traffic, increasing the probability of crashes, and creating pressures for bypasses
  • incompatible land use and transport development (e.g. residents in new housing estates built alongside arterial routes opposing further development of the routes because of concerns about traffic noise and other environmental impacts).