Park-and-ride explored

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By DAVID HILL

Car parking buildings could be built in the Waimakariri district to encourage commuters to car pool or use public transport.

The Waimakariri District Council investigation will be undertaken before the completion of the upgrading of the Christchurch Northern Corridor, due to be finished next year.

When completed, the Northern Corridor will have three lanes in both directions from south of Tram Road, with the southbound third lane to be a “high occupancy vehicle lane”.

Environment Canterbury is also set to review its bus routes this year, in a bid to improve public transport options.

“Around 84 percent of cars heading into Christchurch are single occupancy and by creating a high occupancy lane there is the opportunity to encourage more car pooling and to support more efficient and sustainable transport options,” chief executive Jim Palmer says.

The council has made provision in the last two Long Term Plans to allocate $4million to build two parking buildings, and council staff are now proposing in this year’s annual plan to spend $100,000 of that fund over the next two years to investigate the best locations.

“The intention is to provide a couple of park-and-ride facilities.

“One option could be near the State Highway bridge to allow both rural and urban commuters to congregate.

“We already have several informal park and ride options near bus stops and that happens every day in the district, so this is about formalising it and seeing what opportunities there are to improve our facilities.”