The forgotten area of Auckland getting much needed transit infrastructure love.
There have been talks about this by officialdom including Ministers and the Mayor for a while now in regards to transit infrastructure along State Highway 16 or the North Western Motorway. State Highway 16 was forgotten about when the Western Ring Route was completed (namely it was widened but no transit infrastructure was provided), and then further setbacks when the North West Rapid Transit Line failed to materialise in good time.
None-the-less the (interim) transit infrastructure for State Highway 16 have been announced and both NZTA and Auckland Transport are asking for your feedback.
From NZTA and Auckland Transport
Feedback being sought on proposed northwest bus improvements
Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are asking for feedback on a proposal to significantly improve public transport connections to and from Auckland’s northwest.
The plan to make bus journeys quicker, easier and better connected involves upgrading and extending the existing bus shoulder lanes along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) and building interim bus stops at Westgate and the Lincoln Road and Te Atatūmotorway interchanges.
This would enable a northwestern express bus service using the motorway which connects with local feeder services operating to each station. The bus network will also be reviewed to make better use of the proposed new bus stops and adjustments are planned at motorway interchanges to increase priority for buses.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford says this joint AT and Waka Kotahi project will allow faster and more frequent bus services.
“Bus passengers going from Westgate to the city during the morning peak could save up to 35 minutes on their journey as a result of these improvements.
“This project will also create around 300 jobs and support our economic recovery,” says Mr Twyford.
Mayor Phil Goff says the project will have economic and social benefits for the northwest and will help support jobs and population growth.
“The $100 million in government-funded upgrades for public transport in the northwest will enable a further 170,000 people to get in and out of the city within 45-55 minutes on the bus,” he says.
“This will support jobs and population growth in the area and help to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions by allowing more people to commute without driving. Construction of the projects will create jobs and provide economic stimulus across the region.”
Funding of $100 million has been provided to deliver these interim bus improvements as part of the Government’s recently announced stimulus funding package of infrastructure projects. There is $50 million through Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and $50 million from Waka Kotahi through the National Land Transport Fund.
Waka Kotahi Senior Manager System Design, Robyn Elston says, “A fast, efficient bus service along the motorway with improved journey times will give people more transport options, encourage them to leave their cars at home and help reduce motorway congestion.”
She says dedicated bus lanes are proving their worth during the current closure of lanes on the harbour bridge, moving many more people, more quickly, than private vehicles.
The improvements are to be built over the next five years and, once complete, will encourage more people to use public transport while plans are made for longer-term improvements.
Looking beyond the next five years, Waka Kotahi plans to explore options for a mass rapid transit system so that even more people can be moved along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).
AT and Waka Kotahi welcomes feedback from communities on the proposed interim term improvements and what they think the long-term investigations for rapid transit along the Northwestern Motorway should consider.
Feedback is open until Sunday 25 October. To provide feedback, go to AT.govt.nz/haveyoursay
Maps and Renderings
Long-term plans (beyond five years)
Potential future rapid transit network
There are also plans to provide rapid transit to the northwest in the long-term.
Rapid transit is fast, frequent, high capacity public transport separated from general traffic. This means it is unaffected by road congestion – like the Northern Busway on the Northern Motorway (SH1).
The need for better public transport along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) has been identified in several key transport planning documents in recent years, including the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP 2018), Better Travel Choices (2019) and Auckland Plan 2050.
Previous planning work has identified the need for rapid transit to the northwest to:
- Improve access to employment areas.
- Support significant growth in the northwest.
- Help people to get to work, school and social activities.
- Provide an easy and reliable public transport option to and from northwest Auckland.
Implementing rapid transit along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) is a significant project and will take time.
Waka Kotahi is leading the investigations into the long-term improvements which will build upon the changes made as part of this project.
Have your say
Your feedback is important to us. Your ideas, comments and suggestions will help inform our investigations
Please tell us what you think of the proposed interim improvements and what you think the long-term investigations for rapid transit along the Northwestern Motorway should consider.
Feedback closes on Sunday 25 October.
Come and talk to us
If you would like to speak to someone in person, we would love to see you at one of our drop-in sessions.
- Saturday 10 October, 10am to midday at Te Atatū Peninsula Community Centre, 595 Te Atatū Rd, Te Atatū Peninsula.
- Thursday 15 October, 5pm to 7pm at Te Manawa (Westgate) Kohuhu Lane, Westgate.
- Tuesday 20 October, 11am to 1pm at Te Manawa (Westgate), Kohuhu Lane, Westgate.
IMPORTANT: These events will not be held if Auckland is at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 or higher.
If you would like to speak to someone, please call 09 355 3553.
After feedback closes
Public feedback is one of the factors that Auckland Transport takes into account when making complex decisions like these ones.
After the public engagement period closes, we will:
- Read and analyse all of the feedback provided.
- Create a report on the feedback received which we will publish on the project webpage. If you provide your contact details, we will notify you when the report is available.
- Share your feedback with Waka Kotahi and use it to help shape future transport improvements in the northwest.
For more information on this project
Source: Auckland Transport
Make sure you have your say!