Guest Post by Bryce Pearce who resides up in Orewa
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The Albany Metropolitan Centre and the Northern Busway Extension
When discussing any extension of the Northern Busway, from Constellation Drive to Albany, most people simply assume that it would run alongside the Northern Motorway, as the rest of it does currently. Personally, I don’t think this not necessarily the best long-term option as it does not tie in to the transformation of Albany into a Metropolitan Centre. I believe there is a more suitable route, one that could speed up the transformation as detailed in the Unitary Plan. An idea that could improve ridership immensely and provide a viable transport alternative for many people.
This is the kind of alignment I would like to see investigated:
As you can see this follow the Albany Expressway after Greville Road, has a station midway between North Harbour Stadium and the Massey University Camus while keeping good links to the rest of the Albany development. Also within walking distance are the tennis courts, the old Albany Village and the swimming pool that is under development near the stadium.
Massey University (seen on the western side of Albany Expressway) currently has 7,000 students and, by all accounts, is very poorly served by public transport.
A station at this point would be a mere 450m walk to/from Albany Senior High School.
Another benefit is that rather than running many special buses to North Harbour sports events, many people may simply choose to use the Northern Express services.
As for the issue of routing the busway through Albany, I figure that long-term, it is possibly a good idea to cut and partially cover the busway in order not to sever the new town centre and make sure that corner radii are appropriate to any possible future Light Metro rail line. Expensive yes but a good solution for the future.