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Auckland's transport future secured

Published: 15 September 2016
  • Critical transport challenge: Increasing public transport mode share on congested corridors
  • Critical transport challenge: Enabling a faster rate of housing growth, particularly in new greenfield growth areas. 
  • Critical transport challenge: Addressing increasing congestion on the motorway and arterial road network, particularly at inter-peak times.
  • Maximising new opportunities to influence travel demand.

Minister of Transport Simon Bridges and Mayor Len Brown have agreed how Auckland’s transport system should develop over the next 30 years by today signing the historic Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).

ATAP was first suggested by the Mayor in early 2015 in response to government concerns over Auckland’s transport investment plans and since then they, along with government and council agencies, have been working through the detail.

“Getting all of the government and council parties onto the same page was crucial but we’ve done it and identified a strategic approach taking account of the expected increases in population and jobs between now and 2048,” says Mayor Brown.

“This level of planning and investment has never before been seen in Auckland but the speed with which growth is happening meant we needed to agree plans and investment now.”

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What's on the list?

ATAP  prioritises a programme of transport investments already familiar to most Aucklanders including the Northwestern Busway, mass transit on the isthmus, improved access to the airport, another Waitemata Harbour crossing and Penlink (see Note to Editors).

It also includes broad categories of investment such as transport for future residential development, improvements to, and better traffic management on, major arterials and better home-to-work transport options, particularly in the south and west.

“Importantly, ATAP has concluded that there needs to be a specific focus on road pricing,” says Len Brown. “To reduce congestion, Aucklanders need to make different choices about how to travel and at what time of day. Demand management is crucial to achieving this”. 

“Road pricing offers Auckland a fairer means of funding transport than over-reliance on property rates.  Any revenue raised must go to improvements into the transport system.”

How much will it cost?

Cr Bill Cashmore who represented Auckland Council on ATAP alongside the Mayor says the package is expected to cost around $24 billion over the next decade, compared with around $20 billion expected to be available under current transport funding plans. 

“The council and the government will now consider options to address the $4 billion gap ahead of the next round of statutory funding decisions in 2018, with agreement required by the middle of next year.”

Six agencies were involved in ATAP: Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, Ministry of Transport, NZ Transport Agency, State Services Commission and The Treasury.

Indicative projects and timeframe

2018-2028

  • Northwestern Busway (Westgate to Te Atatu)
  • Address bottlenecks on Western Ring Route (SH20 Dominion Rd to Queenstown Rd) and Southern Motorway (Papakura to Drury)
  • New or upgraded arterial roads to enable greenfield growth in priority areas
  • Protect routes and acquire land for greenfield networks
  • Complete SH16 to SH18 connection
  • Early Rail Development Plan priorities including electrification to Pukekohe
  • Upgraded eastern airport access (SH20B)
  • Investments to enable smarter pricing
  • Increased investment in Intelligent Network Management

2028-2038

  • Continued investment to enable greenfield growth
  • New strategic roads to Kumeu and Pukekohe
  • Implementation of mass transit on isthmus and then to the Airport
  • Bus improvements Airport – Manukau – Botany
  • Improved access to Port/Grafton Gully
  • Northwestern busway extensions
  • Improve connection between East-West link and East Tamaki
  • Penlink
  • Medium-term Rail Development Plan priorities

2038-2048

  • Continued investment to enable greenfield growth
  • Southern Motorway improvements south of Manukau
  • Southwest motorway (SH20) improvements and improved northern airport access
  • Northern motorway widening
  • Waitemata harbour crossing improvements, including mass transit upgrade of Northern Busway
  • Longer term Rail Development Plan priorities