It is largely unknown how transport will operate in Dunedin in the longer term, and so it is necessary to make certain assumptions in order to develop this Strategy. The effect of volatile fuel prices and the affordability, uptake and effect of new fuel technologies are important considerations, surrounded by much speculation but little certainty.
This Strategy takes a flexible approach that recognises and provides for the possibility of significant changes in the nature of transport in the future. Under this approach, planning will be based on the evidence currently available, while retaining a level of adaptability in the event that trends unfold differently.
However, despite this flexible approach there are some key assumptions on which the strategic direction adopted in this Strategy is based.
Assumption 1: The cost of fuel will continue to be volatile
Transport fuel costs have been volatile for several decades (as outlined in Section 2.2). New fuel sources (such as bio-fuels and liquid from solid fuels), and electricity, are becoming more cost competitive. There is, however, no clear indication that a significant proportion of Dunedin’s population may be able to afford or access these fuels, and/or associated vehicles and infrastructure, before the first scheduled review of this Strategy.
Due to demand for fuel from developed countries, increasing demand from rapidly developing economies (such as India, China, South East Asia and South America), and the high cost and environmental effects of extracting or developing emerging fuel types, the trend of increasing fuel cost experienced over the past decade could continue for some time into the future, characterised by price spikes and supply crunches. The full effect of this price volatility, the future affordability and uptake of alternatives and the influence these factors will have on the way people choose to travel or where they choose to live, or when these potential effects may become prevalent, is unknown.
Assumption 2: Road safety needs to improve for all users of Dunedin’s transport system
Although Dunedin’s road safety statistics have been improving over recent years, Dunedin’s overall crash risk is still significantly worse than other comparable urban councils around the country. The need to address Dunedin’s under-performance in road safety is a key assumption driving the direction of this Strategy.
Assumption 3: There is a need to provide for the transport requirements of Dunedin residents who do not have access to a car
Many Dunedin households do not have access to a car (as outlined in Section 2.8). To support an acceptable quality of life, these residents need access to essential goods and services. Therefore, viable, safe transport options other than cars need to be available.
Assumption 4: The Integrated Transport Strategy should give effect to the Dunedin City Spatial Plan
To ensure resilience in the event of future challenges, the DCC has adopted the Spatial Plan which sets out a vision that Dunedin will be a compact city with resilient townships, as well as having a high level of liveability and connectedness. It also identifies the importance of integration of transport and land-use. The vision and strategic direction set by the Spatial Plan was developed and adopted through a process of extensive consultation with the Dunedin community. The Integrated Transport Strategy should therefore give effect to the direction set by the Spatial Plan.
Assumption 5: Providing active transport options will contribute to a healthy and sustainable city
A large body of research highlights the health benefits of active transport modes. Mode shift from vehicular modes to active modes will also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This Strategy assumes that making active transport options safer and more accessible to the Dunedin community would mean that active modes would be used more and thereby have a positive effect on the sustainability and health of Dunedin and its residents.
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