Squabbles set back bus lanes but they are coming
Last month I had filed a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request into the update on the construction of bus lanes on the Great South Road between Manurewa and Papakura Metropolitan Centre. I had filed the same LGOIMA last year in which Auckland Transport replied the bus lanes would have been built by now. They haven’t so I filed this LGOIMA and got the reply back saying the bus lanes will be built this time next year.
However, Greater Auckland also posted today on the delay on bus lanes along the Great South Road between Otahuhu and Papakura and the answers to those set of delays were not the brightest hour I can think of with Auckland Transport.
First the LGOIMA on the bus lanes between Manurewa and Papakura Metropolitan Centre:
1) Does Auckland Transport have plans for bus lanes down the Great South Road from Papakura Metropolitan Centre to Manurewa Town Centre.
AT are currently investigating options to improve bus journey times along Great South Road from Papakura to Otahuhu however, proposals have not yet been finalised. Options include bus or transit lanes along sections of Great South Road that regularly experience traffic congestion.
2) If so (see above) when will the bus lanes be rolled out and completed for bus lanes down the Great South Road from Papakura Metropolitan Centre to Manurewa Town Centre
Construction is expected to start during the second half of 2018.
3) Once the bus lanes are rolled out and completed what will their operational times be for bus lanes down the Great South Road from Papakura Metropolitan Centre to Manurewa Town Centre
The hours of operation are still under review, but they are likely to align with AT’s standard bus/transit lane hours of 7.00am to 10.00am for lanes that operate in the morning peak, and 4.00pm to 7.00pm for lanes that operate in the afternoon peak.
Full LGOIMA: Bus lanes GSR
Okay so straight forward after a delay we are going to get some bus lanes. The operating hours stink but we’ll get there convincing Auckland Transport that the bus lanes operate 24/7 given the 33 Great South Road bus operates seven days a week.
Now for the ‘but’ and it is a rather sad but. Greater Auckland posted also today on the bus lanes saga down the Great South Road and it makes for tragic reading. Tragic as Auckland Transport’s internal squabbles have held up the bus lanes not opposition from the public or businesses.
This from Greater Auckland:
South Auckland’s missing bus lanes
Bus lanes can help significantly address those efficiency and reliability issues and hence why Manukau Station Rd was singled out to get them.
However AT now say this:
Proposed bus lanes for Manukau Station Road are at risk due to predicted increase in delays and queuing for general traffic. The lanes will not be delivered in time for the opening of Manukau Bus Station. Project scope is to be reviewed by AT Metro as the current proposal is not supported by all internal stakeholders.
This is outrageous and if AT can’t even get bus lanes implemented to feed one of their busiest bus stations then they’ve got serious problems. What’s more, it’s not even complaints from the public that are opposing them but people within the organisation who are more concerned with moving a tin boxes than moving people. I suspect this is also once again a case of relying far to heavily on flawed modelling. As we’re seeing first hand in the city centre, the removal of traffic lanes hasn’t led to carmegeddon like predicted and for most roads travel, times have actually improved.
Route 33 bus priority
Route 33 is travels from Papakura through to Otahuhu Station primarily along Gt South Rd and passing through the Manukau Station above. The report says this about it
Additional delay for Route 33 bus priority lane project due to internal stakeholders disagreeing with the previously agreed scope. The project may not proceed to construction in 17/18 FY. Discussions are ongoing with Walking and Cycling and Traffic Engineering to resolve differences.
Route 33 is long and there’s not a lot of detail above so It’s much harder to know just where the issues are. However I can’t help but get the impression that this is a case of the poor neglected kids of the transport world (PT + Active) squabbling over who gets the measly scraps left by the traffic engineers.
Both of these situations simply aren’t good enough and someone from the leadership team at Auckland Transport needs to step up and get these bus lanes implemented. If they’re struggling to do them, particularly the Manukau Station Rd one, then what hope do they expect to have of implementing other new bus lanes.
Source and full post: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2017/10/18/south-aucklands-missing-bus-lanes/
So there is the main reason why the bus lanes are delayed, we have internal squabbles inside Auckland Transport holding things up!
I remind Auckland Transport of two things:
Second (The expectations from Transform Manukau):
And third (cause I found one postscript):
Given Auckland Transport to Launch Safer Community Program in Papakura and Mangere Bridge, Time to Talk Speed – That is Residential Speed Limits Being Lowered and Auckland Transport Slow to Learn Lessons on Better Transport if Auckland Transport can not sort out its squabbles then a clean sweep in the organisation from a new central Government might be required.
Remember as said: The Truth About a City’s Aspirations isn’t found in its vision (the Auckland Transport Statement of Intent). It is found in it’s (Auckland Transport) Budget (cars, more cars, parking buildings, slip lanes and did I say cars).