Park and drive options for Tauranga are entering public discussion as increasing congestion and a close out of alternatives puts pressure on transport planners.
Baypark as a park and drive option emerged from the discussion last week about ongoing issues with the Farm Street site of a Bayfair bus interchange.
Bayfair's given notice the current interchange will have to close because of development at Bayfair in April/May which will require the interchange to relocate.
It was going to Farm Street north of the Bayfair car park, but Bayfair wants it moved 40m west to the other side of the entrance. The re-design will cause delays.
Tauranga City and regional council staff offered Baypark as an alternative. As well as ticking all the boxes for a longer term option for a bus interchange, it opens the opportunity for a park and drive location, because of the large amount of parking space nearby. Most of it is unused during the working week.
The city council already has a consultant working on a concept design.
Former mayor of Tauranga and regional council public transport committee member Stuart Crosby says the background issues of the disruption to be caused by the B2B project, plus the councils' desire to see more use of public transport in future meant the proposal by regional council staff got a great deal of support.
“Baypark is really suited for it, it's actually ready to go,” says Stuart.
The access will be off SH29 which requires a small modification of the Bayfair to Baypark design.
“Now's the time to do it if you are going to do it.”
Baypark is operated by Tauranga City Council owned Bay Venues Ltd. BVL CEO Gary Dawson says the bus interchange will go on the northern side of the arena.
“Between the stadium and the ASB Arena there's an area there been earmarked for it,” says Gary.
“On Google you will it see coming off the end of the stadium, concrete strips, four or five running towards the north,” says Gary.
Access for the buses will be off SH29. Park and ride customers will enter through Truman lane.
There's been no discussion about park and ride customers paying for carparks.
“But if you want to have a park and ride and encourage people to use public transport, you don't really want to make it a huge cost to park for the day. That's the sort of detail we haven't worked through yet,” says Gary.
“We think it's a great idea, we'll continue to work with Bay of Aplenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council to see what we can come up with.”