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Committee discuss innovative transport solutions

Published: 3 October 2018

Auckland Council's Planning Committee heard about the wide range of Intelligent Transport Solutions currently being rolled out by Auckland Transport at its meeting yesterday.

Intelligent Transport Solutions is the use of different technologies to enhance transport services, customer experiences and safety on the road and passenger network.

It includes safety initiatives such as CCTV and video analytics to improve rail crossings, cycleway and bus lane safety and around schools with all electronic signs used to decrease speeds now operated automatically on a connected network, as opposed to manually.

Other projects use technology to improve real time information through online and mobile digital solutions, enable traffic light optimisation that prioritises on schedule buses in key corridors and to implement dynamic lanes in areas like Whangaparora Road.

Councillor Chris Darby, chair of the Planning Committee, welcomed the gains being made in improving transport outcomes.

“This is great use of innovative solutions to make our transport system work more efficiently and be safer for Aucklanders, innovations that will only increase as we move into the future.

“A good investment has been made by both the council and Auckland Transport to achieve improvements through solutions that spend less of ratepayers money,” says Councillor Darby.

The following is a digest of decisions made. The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.

Other decisions made at the Planning Committee were:

Item 9: AMETI Eastern Busway update

Auckland Transport provided a general update about the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) Eastern Busway project.

The AMETI Eastern Busway is now reaching some important milestones, including construction starting of the Panmure to Pakuranga stage in early 2019.

Councillor Darby emphasised the progress made with the project.

“Funding from the Regional Fuel Tax has allowed this much needed project for east Auckland to get ahead in an area that has been car dependent for far too long,” he says.

Some key benefits of the project include:

  • The ability to travel by bus and train from Botany to Central Auckland in less than 40 minutes during peak travel time.
  • The ability to carry 7,500 during peak hour
  • Buses travelling along the busway every 2-5 minutes (depending on time of day)
  • The Reeves Road Flyover removing 40 per cent of traffic from bus intersections around Pakuranga Town Centre while also providing direct access for motorists to Pakuranga Highway
  • Significantly improved safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists and safety and signalling improvements at key intersections.

Item 10: Auckland Unitary Plan – Proposed Plan Change – Rural Activities

A plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan was approved for notification that seeks to limit residential activities in rural zones to ensure they are predominantly used for rural activities.

This is subject to further consideration of whether papakāinga housing should remain a discretionary activity.

This follows the identification of unintended land use activities, such as industrial activities and retirement villages, in the rural zones rather than the rural activities those areas were zoned for.

Item 11: Request to make operative Plan Change 11 to the Auckland Unitary Plan

The Committee approved a plan change to the Three Kings Precinct and authorised the completion of the necessary statutory processes to publicly notify.

The plan change is to reflect the settlement agreement reached between Fletcher Residential Limited and community organisations South Epsom Planning Group and Three Kings United Group.

The Committee noted the strategic importance of the provision of a link between Grahame Breed Drive and communities to the west. It also noted that the plan change is part of a wider development scheme for the Three Kings Precinct that the council and its CCOs will continue to progress, a report on that will be made in early 2019.

Item 12: Auckland Council submission on the proposed Waikato District Plan

The council’s submission to Waikato District Council on their proposed Waikato District Plan was approved by the Committee.

The council has an interest in the impacts for Auckland from plans to accommodate growth in areas neighbouring the Auckland region.

The council’s submission generally supports the proposed plan but seeks some amendments related to growth, including how growth is managed in and around neighbouring towns Tūākau and Pokeno, pressure on productive capacity of high quality rural land and water, wastewater and transport issues.

Item 13: Scope of policy work on affordable housing

The Committee approved the proposed scope and deliverables of the council’s affordable housing work.

The scope of work focuses on affordable housing, which is assisted rental and assisted ownership, but is not be closed to the wider housing provided by the market and social housing.

A key focus will be working in collaboration with other partners in the housing system reflecting the many organisations that deliver affordable housing. This includes community housing providers, central government, developers, builders, investors, and Māori.

Key objectives of the affordable housing work are:

  • identify fit-for-purpose regulatory and non-regulatory affordable housing interventions within a wider housing systems approach, including looking at previous work undertaken through the draft Auckland Unitary Plan, and what worked under the special housing areas.
  • undertake a high-level assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions to improve affordable housing in Auckland
  • provide options and advice on council’s position and role to enable affordable housing.

A Snapshot report looking at the problem, international experience and current and planned Auckland initiatives will be brought back to the Planning Committee in November 2018.

In addition, a Position and Role report looking at stakeholder collaboration, intervention analysis, options and advice on council’s potential position and role in affordable housing will be reported to to the March 2019 meeting.

The council will also be urgently advocating central government for re-examination of affordable housing provisions, including ‘retained affordable housing’, relating to the preparation of a National Policy Statement on affordable housing.

The full scope of the policy work on affordable housing is available in the Planning Committee agenda here.

Local Board input

Harry Doig, Chair of the Puketāpapa Local Board addressed the committee on the the plan change to the Three Kings Precinct (item 11).

Public input

There were two public presentations. Ben Ross addressed the Committee on mixed housing and different housing typologies.

Erica Hinckson, a professor at AUT University specialising in physical activity in the environment, spoke to the Committee on active and healthy cities through design focusing on neighbourhood walkability and physical activity.