45% longer travel time?
Despite a bright spark at Auckland Transport saying motorway congestion has either levelled off or even decreased (see: Transport Minister and Auckland Mayor Present Transport Accord. Questions Asked #AKLPols) the latest figures out from NZTA say what we all know: congestion is getting worse on the motorways!
New data shows Auckland motorway traffic worsening
By Briar Marbeck – Saturday 9 Apr 2016 5:14 a.m.
If you live in Auckland, you’ll be well aware how painstakingly slow it can be to travel anywhere — in fact almost everything we do revolves around how long it will take to get from A to B.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says the increase in travel times over the years is due partly to infrastructure and construction — but mainly the huge growth of population and special housing areas.
Fresh data shows in the 12 months from February last year, 42,986 additional private vehicles were registered in Auckland alone.
“It definitely has an impact on Auckland traffic, all that growth can’t not have an impact,” says NZTA Highways Manager Brett Gliddon. “It has meant that on some routes across Auckland over the last period, it’s definitely been a heavier congestion than we had seen in previous years.”
Mr Gliddon says the NZTA plan around models which look at potential traffic growth over a 30 year period.
“It’s hard to keep up with the growth, it’s very fast at the moment — but we’ve got a lot on the go to respond to that growth so we’re confident that we’ve got a lot of things happening that will make a difference over time.”
Knowing the traffic’s only getting worse might be of little comfort to those with a lengthy morning motorway commute.
Four years ago on the Southern Motorway, a February morning journey from Papakura to the CBD took 47 minutes — this year data shows that increased to 67 minutes, a difference of 20 minutes.
The Northern Motorway from Oteha Valley Rd to the CBD isn’t much better — the average morning commute in February took 50 minutes, up eight minutes from four years earlier.
On the Northwestern motorway from Royal Rd to the CBD, the journey time is a little better — but the delay is mostly due to extensive roadworks along the highway, which are expected to be completed next year.
Current trips on the train take 53 minutes between Papakura and Britomart on the Southern Line. And when there isn’t a Points failure in Britomart the trip is pretty smooth in comparison to the stop starting on the motorway.
But yes trips on the motorway are slow and only going to get slower. The rail network is the only main transport spine with capacity in it (although the Southern Line will need the Third Main as freight train levels increase) so we need to get best out of it.
Speaking of transport in the Southern areas there is this from the Auckland Council’s Auckland Development Committee:
|Auckland Development Committee
14 April 2016
Transport for Future Urban Growth update
File No.: CP2016/06238
- To present the findings from the first round of consultation for the Transport for Future Urban Growth project.
- The purpose of the Transport for Future Urban Growth project is to develop an integrated future transport network and high level land use plan for Auckland’s Future Urban zones in the north, north west and south of Auckland, as identified in the notified Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.
- A long list of options for each growth area was developed and consulted on in February and March 2016 during a series of public open days, stakeholder meetings and hui as well as through online media. In total, over 770 people attended one of nine information sessions and more than 620 feedback forms were completed.
- The key findings from this consultation fed into the development of a draft preferred transport network for each area. The preferred option will go out for consultation in April and May 2016.
That the Auckland Development Committee:
a) receive the update on consultation for Transport for Future Urban Growth.
- The notified Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) identifies approximately 11,000 hectares of rural land for future urbanisation with the potential to accommodate approximately 110,000 dwellings and accommodate approximately 50,000 jobs.
- Transport for Future Urban Growth (TFUG) is a joint project between Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency that responds to this growth. It seeks to develop a transport network that provides an integrated and multi-modal response to the anticipated growth in future urban areas that reside outside the 2010 Metropolitan Urban Limit, in line with Auckland Council’s Future Urban Land Supply Strategy (FULSS). It aims to provide integrated planning certainty that will assist the prioritisation of necessary transport interventions over the next 30 years.
- After a series of multi-agency workshops to develop a longlist of transport options for each sub-regional area, consultation was undertaken with residents, key stakeholders and iwi regarding potential transport network improvements. The objective of the consultation was to understand current and future transport movements and resident views on the potential network improvements for the area. The three key growth areas included in the consultation were:
- The South: Takanini, Opaheke-Drury, Drury West, Paerata and Pukekohe
- The North: Warkworth, Wainui and Silverdale-Dairy Flat
- The North West: Whenuapai, Redhills, Kumeu-Huapai and Riverhead.
- A copy of the TFUG consultation report is attached as Attachment A.
- The consultation took place from 18 February – 17 March 2016 and included:
- 30,000 households contacted about the project
- A series of information days in each area where attendees were invited to talk to the project team, leave comments, fill out paper or online feedback forms available through the Auckland Transport website or email feedback. Over the feedback period there were 8,191 page views on the Auckland Transport web page for the project, making it the most popular page on the AT website during that time. This was also promoted on Auckland Council’s ShapeAuckland website and OurAuckland publication (digital and paper) and on Neighbourly.co.nz as well as other media
- iwi engagement with the following iwi:
- key stakeholder meetings including the Property Council and interested developers with land in future urban areas
- comments on Transportblog were also gathered.
- Overall, most people agreed with the aspirations and issues outlined for transport in the three growth areas.
- Key findings in the south included:
- the need to improve public transport services (particularly rail) and new road connections
- suggestions for improvements to rail including shorter journey times/introduction of express services between Papakura and Pukekohe, and the extension of the rail network to new locations, including Pokeno
- a call for more rail stations in the south and more park and ride facilities. Residents in the south had a strong preference for wanting to make trips by train
- support for an alternative north-south route parallel to SH1 to reduce congestion on the Southern Motorway and requests to provide an alternative route to the airport and to the north west.
Consultation resumes next Friday on the short list of potential future transport options.