Not Shore About This One


As technical appraisal continues of the plan to create a cycle/walk pathway under the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge, officials are working out the future beyond the present bridge.
There’s quite a bit happening in the next few months - but what has emerged amid all this is a contentious issue of allowing high occupancy vehicles and commercial vehicles on the busway from December next year.

  • The contentious issue of allowing high occupancy vehicles (HOVs) on the busway and commercial vehicles such as taxis is being further considered with NZTA driving it while ‘working closely with ARTA.” A condition of funding for the Northern Busway turns out to be that HOVs were allowed once the Victoria tunnel is completed with an environment court decision for 359 HOVs an hour on the busway. All a bit of a worry. When is a busway not a busway?This is now a matter of priority as the tunnel project was brought forward to finish December 2011.
  • A study of rail connecting a third Waitemata Harbour crossing through the North Shore to Orewa is to begin in the next few months. ARTA and the steering group for the next harbour crossing are presently developing draft terms of reference for the study. The steering group comprises representatives from ARTA, the ARC, Auckland, North Shore and Rodney councils, KiwiRail and NZTA.
  • Work is starting on planning for an extension of the Northern Busway from Constellation to Orewa, including identifying park and ride sites. The need to protect the busway extension is now seen as a high priority. NZTA owns land in the proposed Constellation/Silverdale corridor although this isn’t sufficient to accommodate a full busway extension.

Smales Farm busway station is busy

  • The group is finalising a study of future transport requirements for the Albany centre. Arising from that study is an assumption that if rail is to connected with the Albany centre in the future, a central site would be preferred. The busway is seen as a prime corridor for accommodating rail in the future so an investigation of the route will take into account the locaiton of a future train station. Such a rail site may be protected as an outcome of this study.
  • The Rodney council confirms that it has not yet identified a preferred busway route from Silverdale to Orewa.
  • Officials have noted that the demand for carparks at the Constellation and Albany bus stations are at their capacity by early every weekday morning.
  • NZTA is preparing a business case for the additional harbour crossing. A tunnel was identified earlier but the government has asked for a ‘rigorous examination’ of costs and economic impacts of both a tunnel and bridge option.
  • The Auckland Harbour Pathway project is continuing its development of a case. Bevan Woodward, who is fronting the project, says the effects on the bridge structure of such a pathway are being reviewed over the next few weeks and that will be followed by a look at vibration modelling and whether any bridge strengthening would be needed. It’s hoped a design will be made public in about a month. Funding is still being worked on but the view is a charge of $4 a crossing or $1.95 for those with a smart card as well, as some form of naming rights that wouldn‘t not involve external signage on the bridge.




  1. rtc says:

    A busway is no longer a busway when it is no longer a grade separated road only for buses, with the proposal to allow HOVs on the busway it will become merely a bus lane next to the motorway. It should also then be removed from all maps of RTNs in Auckland and inserted put on QTN maps. This proposal would be a complete disaster and in my view makes trains all the more atractive as they can’t be compromised by allowing cars onto their routes.

  2. Andrew says:

    Allowing cars on the busway defeats the purpose of the busway being ther in the first place.

    Isn’t the point to *solve* the problem of congestion by having a bus-only corridor free from cars, rather than to *spread* the problem of congestion onto it?

    The cars are the problem. The motorway is congested because it’s full of cars. The busway too will be congested if it is full of cars. This seems to be a simple rule.

    Likewise, the proposal of changing the Dominion Rd bus lanes into T2 lanes (not even T3) is just plain STUPID.

  3. Matt L says:

    Taxi’s also shouldn’t be considered HOV as often they are only carrying one person so aren’t really taking anyone off the road.

  4. rtc says:

    This is just the roading lobby trying to convery the busway into another lane for the motorway and the cars on it - it has nothing to do with improving our transport system except for cars. Motorway expansion pretending to be PT is what the northern busway soon to be buslane will become.

  5. Cam says:

    This is ridiculous, so the Busway in a few years is going to become just another two clogged lanes on motorway??? We really don’t understand how efficient public transport works here do we?

  6. Matt says:

    If the busway were turned into a T4 lane, it would be OK. But we can be sure that “high” occupancy will be T3, or maybe even T2. Encouraging car pooling by four people could reduce the number of cars on the roads at peak time enormously, and I think would be an acceptable trade-off for allowing cars to use the NBW.

  7. ingolfson says:

    Matt, even with T4, you’d still have committed the ‘original sin’ - and then you are on the downslope. All through Auckland we are seeing pushes for bus lanes / T3 lanes to become T2 or worse. Tamaki Drive has already changed, and at Akoranga there’s a move afoot by the Takapuna business association, I understand, to change the transit lane into a clearway.

  8. DanC says:

    It’ll turn people back to their cars and slow down PT. Bad idea.


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