Trams To Britomart “As Soon As Possible”


The proposal to extend Auckland’s waterfront trams to Britomart has been stepped up today.

Auckland’s Mayor and the Chairmen of both CCOs, Auckland Transport and the Auckland Waterfront Development Agency now have before them a proposal to extend the waterfront tramline as far as Britomart “as soon as possible.”.

Auckland Council Transport Committee Chair Mike Lee has written to Mayor Len Brown and copied in the others with the proposal for it to be extended to Britomart “as soon as possible.”
A motion was passed at the Council’s last committee meeting for Auckland Council officers to work with Auckland Transport and the Waterfront Agency for this to happen.

Presently, the heritage tram will simply travel clockwise on a 1.5km circuit of Wynyard Quarter between Jellicoe, Halsey, Gaunt and Daldy Sts.

Mr Lee’s letter says that connectivity with the region’s public transport networks would certainly enhance the strategic value and utility of the tramway.

Auckland's waterfront trams being laid

“Extending the tramway through the Viaduct Harbour area over a new strengthened bridge and along Quay St to the Britomart Transport Centre  where passengers can connect to the suburban rail network, the QTN bus network, the ferries and the Northern Express  is highly desirable and should be given a high priority by the Auckland Council group,” says Mike Lee’s letter.

“Extending the tramway’s reach along the waterfront  via Quay St past the international cruise terminals on Princess and Queens Wharf  would also enhance the tramway’s intrinsic value as an important and iconic Auckland waterfront attraction.”

Background on the tram proposal is here

* Meanwhile MELBOURNE’S trams are slowing to a crawl, stuck in traffic as car numbers on the state’s roads soar by 100,000 a year, according to a report written by Yarra Trams. More




  1. Cam says:

    Ok but as far as I know despite the fact that the piles are strong enough the bridge deck cannot take trams right?

    So how soon exactly is asap? 2 years? 5 years? What does this mean?

  2. Bill Bennett says:

    The basic tram plan reminds me of the Darling Harbour monorail in Sydney.

    It’s hard to read anything about the Sydney monorail without stumbling across the words “white elephant”. However, extending the tram to Britomart will do wonders and open up the tourist potential of a neglected but potentially interesting part of the ctiy.

    Let’s do it.

  3. mark says:

    “So how soon exactly is asap? 2 years? 5 years? What does this mean”

    The key element is actually putting the costs into the LTCCP to be produced next year. As long as there IS a fixed timeframe (rather than a “if money is available at some time” statement of intent), the current downsides of the scheme can be downplayed without the proponents looking foolish.

    So a fixed date within the next couple years needs to be agreed, and funds set aside (or more correctly, programmed) for that stage.

  4. Matt L says:

    Bill Bennett - Part of the problem of the Darling Harbour monorail is that it is designed as a tourist trap rather than a commuter service. If we can integrate the tram loop into Britomart and into the rest of the PT network then it would be extremely useful for all of the workers that are proposed to be based there e.g. ASB is moving their headquarters down there so if this was done someone could get off a train, walk across to the tram and carry on their journey to work that way which would be pretty useful and with integrated fares it shouldn’t cost them anything extra.

  5. Bill Bennett says:

    Matt - a great point. Of course once the tram line extends to Britomart we can start suggesting it extends to Mechanics Bay and beyond.

  6. Paul in Sydney says:

    Sydney MonoRail in not PT (Public Transport) its TT - Tourist Transport. Its ticketing is not integrated and its over priced to be part of the PT network.

    So Auckland’s trams must connect with the network and have its ticketing integrated to make it PT not TT

    But hey, better TT than nothing

  7. Nick says:

    Why didn’t they do this project for the World Cup?? It must be something like 2km from Wynyard to Britomart. Instead they have a loop almost the same length that has no public transport use.

  8. Martin says:

    I can’t help but notice that the track is standard guage. Is the CHC tram also standard guage?

    It’s a pitty that that 130+ years ago we opted for 3’6″ instead of 4’2″. Think how much better off we would be today.

  9. Kurt says:

    Common sense would suggest the tram should go up Queen St to K Rd and loop around back to Britomart. That would well and truly revitalise the CBD and in all likelihood be a better return on investment..

    It should get priority on the roads as well since it uses its own road and given it is electric its even better via its lack of carbon emissions.

    In fact with enough support it could replace the Link bus service and spread out from there.

    Turn the clock back 60+ years when there were substantial mistakes made in Auckland’s public transport but don’t expect this governments support. Not unless there decent photo opportunities for the PM anyway.

  10. Feijoa says:

    Does the new Auckland Council have funding the proper Te Wero Bridge in its current plans, or will this move hurry it up? I can’t find any mention of it on the new website.

    The old Auckland City Council had delayed it until 2016 according to their Te Wero Bridge page: The council has decided to defer the completion of the bridge to 2016, as expressed in the council’s draft 10-year plan.

    I hope missing “before the RWC” doesn’t mean this takes another 5 more years to complete. Go Mike Lee!

  11. Jon C says:

    @Feijoa First part for walking and cycling is underway

  12. Feijoa says:

    @Jon Sorry, I meant the proper crossing, not the temporary deck. I assumed that’s what the council’s 2016 completion date referred to?

    Actually, were the “future-proofed” piles put in taking into account one of the winning designs or is the whole Te Wero ‘designer’ bridge concept abandoned now?

  13. Jason Roberts says:

    Martin (22/4/11), you are way out with your track gauges - by 6 and 1/2 inches! Most tramways of the world use Standard Gauge, which is 4 feet, 8 and 1/2 inches. Chch uses it, Auckland used it, New Plymouth, Wanganui, and even Invercargill used it! Wellington was odd with its 4 foot gauge. Most Australian tramways used it, and ofcourse Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide use it.

    Overall, as a supporter of tramways, I want to see the new Auckland tramway extended, and marketed. However, when it’s done, it needs to be capable of running vintage trams from Motat, not just modern low-floor trams as we see in Sydney. I sincerely hope that the ARC get it right!!!

  14. Martin says:

    @ Jason Roberts

    woops, yeah I meant 6′ 8 1/2″


  15. Luke says:

    Kurt I completely agree with you on the potential for trams to run up queen street and along the Link Route. It would revitalize the CBD and give an asset Aucklanders can be proud of. The main potential here is for the trams to be given right of way over vehicular traffic and to replace many of the noisy buses that are beginning to clog up that area of the CBD.

  16. [...] on the Tram plan here and the plan to take it to Britomart Related [...]


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