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Memorial Avenue Bridge

When a city is devastated by a natural disaster, rebuilding the transport network is critical for recovery but it is a job that cannot be done alone – it needs all transport providers to work together to make smart investment decisions.

With 45% of Christchurch’s roads damaged, 12,000 homes lost and more than 50% of the buildings in the central city destroyed, whole communities were displaced. Families struggled to find new homes within the city because of limited land availability and soaring values.

Greater Christchurch was fortunate to have an existing platform for redevelopment with the Urban Development Strategy (UDS). This 30-year plan for growth had helped build strong relationships between the partners that enabled them to respond quickly to the earthquakes.

The original UDS partners – the Transport Agency, Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils – were joined by the CERA, the Ministry of Transport, Christchurch International Airport, Lyttelton Port Company and KiwiRail, with everyone signing up to the Greater Christchurch Transport Statement.

The Statement sets out how the key transport providers will work together to support the earthquake recovery and growth of Canterbury, through joint decisions on transport, land use and investments in the transport network that provide better value for money.

From this foundation of understanding and support, Greater Christchurch is making good progress with redevelopment of the network. This programme of work is looking to:

  • address the changes in the region’s demographics, with significant growth to the north, west and south
  • improve access to the port and support the growth in freight while addressing congestion to improve efficiencies
  • restore and grow bus patronage, which has declined since the earthquakes
  • restore the transport network, in particular in the central city.

The partners recognise that most importantly they need to invest in a network that supports opportunities to get more people using public transport, cycling and walking to help with efficiency and predictable journey times.