A plan for the future of Waipā's sustainable transport network, known as Urban Mobility, is one step closer after a council committee approved a business case on Tuesday.
The business case was presented to Waipā District Council's Service Delivery Committee outlining how council will carry out an improved walking, cycling, scootering and mobility network in Cambridge, Te Awamutu and Kihikihi.
Creating an urban mobility network was one of the key projects the community supported through this year's 2021-31 Long Term Plan.
Council's transportation manager Bryan Hudson said the business case had been 12 months in the making with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and through workshops with elected members and other representatives which sets out the next 10 years of costs for walking and cycling in three Waipā towns.
"The final funding is yet to be approved by Waka Kotahi but it is in the national land transport programme and regional transport plan so the alignment is there. Waka Kotahi will still need to do their final approval of business case before the final funding is allocated.
"This is a plan that covers all active modes, such as walking, bikes, scooters, and mobility aids. Paths will link with retirement villages and other main destinations that people want to go to including shopping centres."
The business case identifies local streets in the three towns that would be earmarked for a walking network, but Hudson reminded committee members that the makeup of the network and the precise route would be consulted on at a later stage to ensure it reflected community's desires.
"It's more than just building infrastructure, it's about the facilities people need at each end, improving bike skills training and education, and bike access schemes so we can get bicycles to groups that are at a disadvantage so there's equitable access," Hudson said.
The implementation of the Urban Mobility Plan would be undertaken with input from a technical reference group, made up of interest groups, such as community cycling and walking groups, disability representation; and governance provided by way of a Project Steering Group, made up of elected member representation which would cross over multiple election cycles.
Governance of the project was of key interest for Cambridge councillors, with multiple requests for members of the reference group to be included on the project steering group rather than the reference group.
The query was resolved through a council resolution that enabled councillors to 'co-opt in' members of communities of interest to the steering group as and when requested.
Councillors approved the business case on Tuesday which will now go to Waka Kotahi for funding approval. Subject to funding approval, council will get moving on the planning and delivery phase of the project.
Residents can keep up to date on what's happening for Urban Mobility at www.waipadc.govt.nz/urbanmobility.