Life in Christchurch Transport Survey

More than 3000 people responded to the survey. The results indicated that although we still have some work to do on improving satisfaction with the condition of our transport infrastructure, generally there have been improvements in how easy and safe it is to travel by a range of modes in Christchurch.

2018 Results

Travel by car

Around 96% (3139) of respondents have regularly travelled by car in Christchurch city (including Banks Peninsula) in the past 12 months.

Forty five per cent find it easy to travel by car in Christchurch. For those who find it difficult to travel by car, roadworks and road closures and the quality of the roads remain the leading causes.

Sixty four per cent feel safe when they are travelling by car in Christchurch.

What you told us

“Road works go on for too long. Often see nothing happening but road cones still in place hindering safe motoring.”

“Busy intersections should all have right turning arrows. If you can put in arrows for buses, bikes then why can't our roads be made safer with right turning arrows for cars?”

“Apart from temporary road repairs, it's great.  I do understand that they will go away or diminish soon.”

Travel by bike

Close to 40% (1164) of respondents have regularly travelled by bike in Christchurch city in the past 12 months.

Forty seven per cent of respondents who have travelled by bike reported feeling safe when travelling by bike. For those who find it difficult to travel by bike, inconsiderate and dangerous driving by other road users, sharing the roads with buses and heavy vehicles and sharing the roads with cars are the leading difficulties.

Thirty six per cent reported feeling safe when travelling by bike in Christchurch. This is an improvement of 11% on the 2017 result.

Around 80% of respondents who have travelled by bike regularly in the past 12 months have used the new separated cycleways, up from 71% in 2017.

Seventy seven percent agreed that the separated cycleways have improved their safety when travelling by bike, and around 60% agree that they have made it faster and more convenient to travel by bike.

What you told us

“Biking is by far the easiest way to get around. Less hassles and quite quick. The only downside is the motorists that hate cyclists.”

“There needs to be more bike racks around the city and suburbs. Mostly I have to lean it against a post or fence.  The central city is good, but they are often full.”  

“The separated cycle ways are excellent. I regularly plan my routes to utilise them, even if it does add some extra distance to the trip.” 

“I've mainly commuted by bicycle for 30 years and for 30 years the roading part of my rates bill has been spent on making my life worse (faster roads, more lanes for cars). I'm pleased that finally my rates are partly going to improve cycle conditions as well with the Major Cycleways Programme. Well done CCC.”

Walking in Christchurch

Sixty six per cent (2002) of respondents have regularly walked to a range of activities in the past 12 months.

Seventy six per cent of respondents who have regularly walked to a range of activities in the past 12 months reported that it is easy to walk to activities in Christchurch city (including Banks Peninsula), while 51% reported feeling safe when walking.

The key difficulties for those who find it difficult to walk in Christchurch include the quality of the footpaths, footpath closures and constructions activity encroaching on footpaths.

Sixteen per cent of respondents reported walking places more often in the past 12 months than they did in the previous 12 months.

What you told us

“We have wonderful walking facilities, but crossing roads is always a challenge, largely because motorists have a careless attitude towards pedestrians.”  

“Walking at night feels unsafe.  More lighting please.  Also concerned about driver behaviour on zebra crossings – dangerous to pedestrians. Education?”

“Can't wait for shared open walking spaces in town where I can interact with people and enter shops without having to drive and park just to cross the street.”

Travel by public transport

Around a third of respondents (915) have regularly travelled by public transport in the past 12 months.

More than half of respondents who have regularly travelled by public transport find it an easy way to travel, while around 80% reported feeling safe when using public transport.

For those who do not regularly travel by public transport, a more frequent service and more direct routes and connections would encourage them to use public transport more often.

What you told us

“The Diamond Harbour ferry is great. A faster connection with buses and across town in buses would make it possible for me to take public transport”

“A faster service that is more efficient once on the bus: no driver change during the bus route (why not at the interchange?), faster boarding and exiting, more priority for the bus.”

“I would really appreciate having a bus service that went directly into the city. Both bus stops within walking distance necessitate an exchange at Riccarton.”

“There are two things that would encourage me to take the bus.  Reduced fares and more frequent service. If bus fares were halved more people would bus and this it would pay for itself. I do not want to look up a timetable, particularly for the home trip. I want to know that a bus will come in 10 to 15 minutes; not half an hour.”

Our transport infrastructure

Around a third of respondents are satisfied with the condition of footpaths and pedestrian areas in Christchurch (including Banks Peninsula).

Fifty seven per cent are dissatisfied with the condition of the roads in Christchurch (including Banks Peninsula).

The top three reasons for dissatisfaction with the condition of our roads are:

  • potholes
  • road surfaces that are not smooth
  • ongoing patch repairs to roads.

What you told us

“Fix the potholes properly then they don’t have to be done every few weeks.  It may take longer the first time. Do it once and do it right.”

“Many of the roads get repaired only for the same issues to resurface within a few months. Repairs are inconsistent. The general road quality in Christchurch is very poor since the earthquakes and has not been well repaired or maintained.”

“Inner city roads are not good but they are better than those on the Peninsula which have potholes fixed continually (usually in the same places) and cause tyre wear and misalignment.”

“Potholes are a continuing and widespread potential disaster for cyclists, especially at night.  Fortunately I have not yet been unseated.”

“I know there is a lot to do but there seems to be no communication between organisations and we are seeing the same roads being dug up multiple times. This is bad for motorists but also for people with businesses and those living in these areas. We should have multiple shifts working on the roads to get the work done quicker and hopefully reduce costs."


Our Strategic Transport Plan is a 30 year vision for transport within the city. The strategy has four key goals, all of which aim to improve ease of travel throughout the city, and ensure that residents feel safe when they are travelling in Christchurch.

Our Community Outcomes echo this, acknowledging that Christchurch needs an efficient, integrated transport system that offers a range of choices for everyone. A well connected and accessible city will offer an excellent quality of life and help us compete internationally with other cities.

Results from this survey feed into the ongoing Community Outcomes monitoring programme, and also help us understand how we are tracking to meet the goals in our Strategic Transport Plan. More information about the results can be found in the full report [PDF, 1.8 MB].

2017 results

More than 4500 people responded to the survey. Although there are still some areas where improvements are required, overall people are reasonably satisfied with their travel in the city. The shift that can be seen towards active modes is promising, and indicates that the investment the Council is making in active modes is beginning to pay off.

2017 results

Travel by car

Over 90% of respondents have travelled by car in the past 12 months, with 78% using their car to travel to work at least once a week.

The survey revealed a third of respondents think it is difficult to travel by car in Christchurch, however a third also think it is easy to get around. The common reason for respondents saying it's difficult to get around is due to roadworks and road closures.

In addition, more than 70% of respondents said the availability of car parking was an issue, while 64% indicated the quality of the roads was a factor.

"I am looking forward with hopeful expectation to use the new inner city road networks when they and the building projects are complete. Still significant readjustment required to how we do travel so that environments become safer and more community focused."

Public Transport

Around 30 per cent of respondents had travelled by public transport in the past 12 months; around half of respondents think it is easy to travel by public transport in Christchurch.

When asked why they thought it was difficult to travel by public transport, the majority said the routes and connections are not direct enough. Others indicated the service is not frequent enough, it doesn't always turn up on time, and road congestion and journey times were also factors mentioned.

More than half of respondents thought they may use public transport if there were more direct routes and connections, while 36 per cent indicated a more frequent service was required and 29 per cent thought a reduction in fares would help.

"In larger cities there are free circular routes around the main parts of the city, which encourages the use of public transport in general. This would be great to see. The main issue for me is it takes me about twice as long to get home on public transport as it does biking or driving."

Travel by Bicycle

More than a third of respondents had travelled by bicycle in Christchurch City in the past 12 months; around 30 per cent reported that they had travelled by bicycle more than they did 12 months ago.

Over the past year, 35 per cent of respondents said they had used a bicycle to get to work more than five times per week, with 32 per cent using a bicycle two to four times per week. 

More than half of respondents said it was easy to travel by bicycle in Christchurch. Only 22 per cent said they felt it was difficult to travel by bicycle, the majority of these indicated the main reasons for this viewpoint was sharing the roads with heavy vehicles, buses and cars, as well as inconsiderate and dangerous driving by other road users.

Around 70 per cent of respondents who had cycled in the past 12 months had used the new major cycle routes.

"Keep faith in the accessible city vision as the best future for the city.  I am seeing more and more use of the cycling facilities even in winter.  I have just come back from Europe where even Moscow is making their center city walking and cycling friendly, narrowing roads to do it."

"I now feel safe biking to and from my job in the central city for the first time. I also bike more on winter evenings as I feel safer too."

Travelling with Disabilities

Around 6 per cent of all respondents have a long term disability that prevents them from doing everyday things that other people can do.

Around 40 per cent of respondents with long term disabilities find that the roads and footpaths make it difficult for them to travel in the city.

Around 30 per cent feel that public transport is hard for them to access, making it difficult for them to travel.

A large number of respondents with disabilities commented on the impacts that the new major cycleways infrastructure is having on their ability to travel. The raised curbs on the cycleways and around the new central bus exchange are causing difficulties for those with vision impairment in particular.

“The bloody concrete barriers created for the cycle lanes which prevent me from getting from my car to the footpath.  I am completely gutted that the Council has chosen to provide expensive facilities for the able bodied community at the expense of less able people to be able to access their local community facilities.”