Congestion Free Network is a “Go” [update]

If Labour with the Greens form the next Government




Labour announced today that it would – if in power start the Auckland Congestion Free Network, something the Greens have already campaigned on.

This means of Labour and the Greens form the next Government after the September 20 Election Auckland could see a turn around in transport infrastructure investment.


From Labour (note this is not an endorsement nor do I agree with the full suite of policies here)


Rather than work on improving the whole transport system as an integrated, multi-mode network, the current government has been obsessed with a handful of hugely expensive projects that it selected for political reasons.

Labour will rebalance the government’s transport expenditure away from low-value projects chosen for political reasons towards the investments that will best improve growth, reduce congestion, and move our transport system on to a more sustainable footing.

Labour will:

  • Build a 21st century transport system that provides choice and is cost effective
  • Rebalance the transport budget away from the current government’s exclusive focus on motorway projects towards a more rational investment in the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport modes. For freight this means investing in roads, rail, our ports, and coastal shipping. In our cities it means a greater emphasis on public transport, and walking and cycling
  • Invest in the Congestion Free Network for Auckland
  • Reduce congestion in Auckland by building the City Rail Link immediately, funding it 50:50 with Auckland Council
  • Eliminate an unnecessary hassle by removing the annual registration charge for light trailers and caravans
  • Reduce congestion and make the roads safer by requiring trucks to not drive in the fast lane on three and four lane motorways
  • Reduce costs for motorhome and campervan owners by reversing changes made by the current government that have doubled their Road User Charges



The fuller policy detail can be seen below:


The Congestion Free Network being this

[Update]: Dedicated Portal:


From Transport Blog

Congestion Free Network

Auckland Map with Type size same
yes I know that graphic is old now. Need Transport Blog to update it

Why a Congestion Free Network? | The 2015 Network | The 2020 Network | The 2025 Network | The 2030 Network | Financial Details | Ridership | Presentation to CouncilCampbell Live | How To Save 14 Billion How the CRL reduces Rail Operating costs

As hinted at here and here, the editorial team at TransportBlog, in collaboration with Generation Zero, believe there is a much better way forward for Auckland than the expensive, ineffectual and road-heavy ‘build everything’ transport scheme identified in the Auckland Plan, and set out and analysed in the Integrated Transport Programme. This post describes how Auckland can build a world-class public transport network, which will be both affordable and envied by comparable cities worldwide. It describes how, in only 17 years, Auckland can leapfrog its rivals and transform from a very inefficient mono-modal auto-dependent city to a much more dynamic, multidimensional, effective and exciting place.

Our plans isolate the top layer of the Public Transport Network, and show how these can be expanded and connected while remaining integrated with the other layers of the public transport system (especially the Frequent and Local Bus Networks), forming a complete system to complement the existing and mature road network.

In order to show how we think we should do this, we have developed a staged process at five-year intervals from 2015 to 2030, illustrated in four maps below.\
This plan will not only lead to a higher quality and better functioning city, but is also more affordable than the ineffective Integrated Transport Programme. In fact, investing in the ‘missing modes’ in Auckland’s transport mix before further expanding the road network so expensively will almost certainly turn out to be much cheaper and more efficient for the city and the nation, as well as actually being more in sync with the times. In particular, many of the most expensive and invasive road projects will prove to be unnecessary once Auckland has this powerful additional network in place. Our plan will also greatly improve Auckland’s performance in other harder to calculate but vital areas, such as air quality, carbon emissions, oil dependency, urban form, and public health outcomes.

The networks we are showing are built on what we already have in Auckland and what is proposed in varying scenarios by Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, NZTA, and other professional bodies, and are all predicated on maximising value from existing infrastructure. In other words these are all possible and realistic projects. They are buildable and fit into efficient operating models, as well as being focused on unlocking hidden capacity and other benefits which are latent in our existing networks. They are in sync with the proposed directions of Auckland’s future growth (both up and out), and have been selected with quality of place outcomes in mind, as well as likely changes in movement demand.

The other important point is that these routes represent the highest quality Public Transit corridors – “Class A routes”, as described here in this hierarchy of transit Right of Ways. They include a variety of modes: Train, Bus, Ferry, and maybe even Light Rail, chosen for each corridor on a case by case basis. The key point is that by growing this network Aucklanders will have the option to move across the whole city at speed, completely avoiding road traffic. By connecting the existing rail and busway to new high quality bus and rail routes, the usefulness of our current small and disjointed Rapid Transit Network can become a real option for millions of new trips each year. At the same time, we will take pressure off Auckland’s increasingly crowded roads by offering such an effective alternative to always driving, as well as providing a way around this problem.

The Congestion Free Network is both a solution to our overcrowded roads and a way of being able choose to avoid them altogether, for many more people, at many more times, and for many more journeys.

Definitions and Qualifications

To qualify for the Congestion Free Network a Transit service needs to fulfil two conditions:

  1. It should have its own separate Class A Right of Way.
  2. And offer a high frequency service, the ‘turn-up-and-go’ rate of a ride at least every ten minutes or better.

In other words, these are the top of the line services from Auckland Transport and their partners. As we will explain we have taken some liberties with these two definitions out of necessity, with some services not quite fulfilling one of the criteria above for various reasons. Where we have opted to bend the definitions a little, there is good reason to believe that the deficiency can be fixed on the route in question, and in fact its inclusion on the CFN map is part of the process for showing why that should be the case.

There is a third condition that we are confident will be maintained on this network, and that is the quality of the vehicles themselves, along with important attractors such as free Wifi on board and at stations


Source and full page can be seen here:


Food for thought….