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Christchurch signs New Zealand’s first Transport Accord

28 May 2008

Easy access to a safe, reliable night-time public transport service is the aim of the Christchurch Central Business District Transport Accord launched today (Wednesday, 28 May).

The Accord, the first in New Zealand, is the result of more than four years work by transport operators and agencies to ensure the city is provided with a dependable public transport service to support a safe and vibrant city, says Accord committee chair Dennis Robertson of Land Transport New Zealand.

Christchurch’s taxi operators and Red Bus Company have formed the Transport Accord in partnership with the Christchurch City Council, Land Transport New Zealand, New Zealand Police, Hospitality Association of New Zealand, Environment Canterbury, New Zealand Automobile Association, New Zealand Taxi Federation and ACC.

Mr Robertson says through the Transport Accord the industry is working together to ensure its provides the public with a better and more reliable service which helps support the work of the city’s Alcohol Accord and enhances the central city’s night-time economy.

"The Transport Accord was the next logical step after the city introduced the Alcohol Accord in October 2006. With the Transport Accord, the public transport industry will also be working with the hospitality industry and agencies to help create a safer city for residents, visitors and tourists."

The key objectives of the Accord are to:

Encourage people to use public transport.

Improve the image of public transport.

Improve central city traffic management.

Encourage personal safety for everyone.

Build better relationships between stakeholders and the public.

Encourage people not to drive after drinking.

The Police’s Canterbury Road Policing Manager Inspector Derek Erasmus says the Transport Accord is another great initiative to help make Christchurch a safer city.

"Through the Transport Accord we are looking to address the increasing problem of drink-driving and alcohol-related harm.

‘By ensuring there is a reliable, easy to access and cost effective public transport service, people will be encouraged to leave their cars at home and uses buses and taxis when enjoying a night out in town. This is a real positive outcome for the city."

He praised the collaborative approach of the signatories in working together for the benefit of the city which had already seen the introduction of the After Midnight Express bus service and better public access to a more reliable taxi service at night.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the Transport Accord is yet another great example of how the city is working together to find solutions which will help make Christchurch the safest city in New Zealand.

"By providing those in the central city with easy access to a reliable public transport service, people are not left to wander the streets in search of a way home at night, thereby placing themselves at risk of being a victim of crime."

He says the Alcohol Accord has already helped make Christchurch safer and the Transport Accord would only serve to build on the success of this initiative.

"It is good to see such outstanding support from the transport industry to help create a safer city. With their on-going commitment to work together and introduce new initiatives as issues arise, the transport industry has taken a lead and proven to be a responsible citizen in recognising the problem of inner city crime and violence."

Mr Parker says a whole of community response was needed to reduce central city crime and violence and he welcomed such initiatives as the Transport Accord.

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