Say ‘Yes’ to 60Km/H, Say ‘Yes’ to Bus Lanes, So ‘NO’ to T3 Lanes and Say ‘Yes’ to Truck Lanes for State Highway 20B to the Airport

NZTA doing consultation – again

For some reason NZTA are doing consultation on speed limits and transit lanes again for State Highway 20B. We recently had such consultation where their was overwhelming support for the speed limit to be reduced to 60km/h, and for bus lanes to be added as part of the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit – Airport Link Stage 1 system. So again it is submission time everyone.

From NZTA:

Have your say

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is improving State Highway 20B (SH20B) to provide a safer journey experience and more reliable travel choices with a new bus and Transit 3 lane each direction between Pukaki Creek Bridge and the interchange with State Highway 20.

SH20B improvements are the first step of the Southwest Gateway programme, which will provide better public transport, walking and cycling facilities as well as safer and more efficient movements in Southwest Auckland.

To provide safer and more reliable journeys on SH20B, we want to hear from you on the proposed:

  • Speed limit change from current 100km/h to 60km/h
  • Bylaw on the dedicated bus and Transit 3 (T3) lanes.

Complete our survey(external link)

Safer speed review

We are proposing the speed limit on SH20B between Manukau Memorial Gardens and Orrs Road be reduced from 100km/h to 60km/h. 

LocationCurrent speed limitProposed new speed limit
Existing 100km/h area on SH20B between Orrs Road and the current 100/50km/h change point east of Manukau Memorial Gardens intersection – reduce from 100km/h to 60km/h.100km/h60km/h

More than 28,000 vehicles travel along SH20B each day. With a new road layout, new walking and cycling facilities, new intersections and future development planned, we want to make the state highway safer for everyone who travels along it.

In November 2019 Waka Kotahi asked for feedback on our proposed speed limit changes on this road once construction is complete. 86% of people said they’d like to see a reduced speed limit on this section of the state highway. Of these, 76% of people supported a reduced speed limit of 60km/h for a safer corridor.

Southwest Gateway – Engagement Summary Report – November to December 2019(external link)

We’ve read all the feedback and used these insights along with our technical analysis to inform our design. We want to hear your views on the proposed change before we make a decision as per the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits (2017).

Bus and T3 lane bylaw 

Waka Kotahi also proposes a dedicated bus lane in each direction between Pukaki Creek Bridge and SH20/SH20B interchange to provide more reliable public transport services and support frequent bus services between the airport and Puhinui Station Interchange.

To maximise efficiency of the new lanes, our proposal also allows vehicles with three or more people (T3) to use the new bus lanes, to reduce congestion and ease pressure in SH20B.

These lanes will be operational 24 hours, seven days a week once the early improvements work is complete in 2021. Formal consultation on the bus and T3 lane bylaw is required under Section 22AD of the Land Transport Act 1998.

Have your say

You can provide your feedback by either:

Post your completed consultation form to:

SH20B public consultation team (Attention: Austin Kim) 
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Private Bag 106602
Auckland 1143

Or email the form to: SH20B@nzta.govt.nz

For more information read the frequently asked questions 

What happens next

Based on the feedback we receive and our own technical analysis if we decide to change the speed limit and create the new bylaw the new speed limit and bus/T3 signs and lane will be implemented when we complete the early works project in early to mid 2021.

The new speed limit and priority lanes would be implemented upon completion of the SH20B improvement works. (early – mid 2021).

Source: NZTA

The survey is two questions:

  1. Factors needing to be considered when moving the speed limit to 60km/h. This one is pretty straight forward on safety and efficiency grounds given most submitters last time agreed to the proposal.
  2. Bus and T3 lanes that operate 24/7. This is a variance to the last consultation round and any notion of a T3 lane needs to be nixed in the bud.

Bus Lane ‘Yes’, Truck Lane ‘Yes*’, T3 Lane ‘NO!’

Transport Movements per hour Source: Dale Bracewell – City of Vancouver
Transport Movements per hour 2 Source: Dale Bracewell – City of Vancouver

The above is how much each lane can move per hour depending on mode. Keeping the 24/7 bus lane clear of cars regardless if they are carrying passengers or not especially as the Airport Link will be every 10 minutes minimum is essential for Airport to Botany RTN to work. T3’s are not easily enforceable as a straight bus/freight lane so lets keep things simple.

Trucks over a certain tonnage (so Class 4 or 5 licence requirements) being able access the bus lane in the OFF PEAK might give better bang for buck for road corridor utilisation and efficiency by keeping them out of general traffic as well.

Yes cars are relegated to the general lane and might face congestion but to be blunt that is the point. It acts as a discouragement towards cars and encouragement over to transit. The freight semi-restrictions also nudge freight to plan their trips outside of peak – if possible given the Airport is a critical freight link.

So please submit:

  1. Factors needing to be considered when moving the speed limit to 60km/h. This one is pretty straight forward on safety and efficiency grounds given most submitters last time agreed to the proposal.
  2. Bus and T3 lanes that operate 24/7. This is a variance to the last consultation round and any notion of a T3 lane needs to be nixed in the bud.

*Bus Lane ‘Yes’, Truck Lane ‘Yes for off peak hours’, T3 Lane ‘NO!’

Airport to Botany Rapid Transit. Source: Auckland Transport

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