Funding has been secured by Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and North Shore ward councillors for Auckland Transport’s Lake Road Improvements project – a plan to improve travel choices on and around the Devonport peninsula.
The project will develop designs for the best way to move more people along Lake Road without widening the existing road. This will most likely involve the introduction of new transit lanes on Lake Road and a repurposing of the Esmonde Road bus lane into a transit lane.
Along with this, there will be improved walking and cycling facilities, better public transport and new technology solutions to improve information on travel options and driving conditions.
Last year, the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, along with ward councillors Chris Darby and Richard Hills, went in to bat for their community and sought funding for the project in Auckland Council’s 10-year Budget.
On 28 June, the Governing Body confirmed their efforts had been successful and approved $47 million in funding to enable the project to start progressing immediately.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to work with the local board to address the longstanding issue of Lake Road congestion,” says Councillor Darby.
“Together, we’ve been able to ensure funding from the Regional Fuel Tax is used to get this critical project across the line.”
The project now moves into a detailed business case phase and will settle on a preferred detailed design midway through next year. It is likely that construction will start on Esmonde Road first, accompanied by improvements to the bus network and local cycling infrastructure.
Local Board Chair George Wood says it’s fantastic news for the community and all those who have worked hard to achieve this outcome.
“We're all extremely relieved and over the moon to hear improvements will get underway next year. It’s the best outcome we could have hoped for.
“The board is right behind this, and we’re investing our entire transport capital fund towards funding cycling and walking projects in the area,” says Wood.
Councillor Richard Hills agrees. “This will make a massive difference to the communities between Esmonde Road and Devonport, and to those who come to visit the area," he said.
“This project will allow better use of the road space we have - meaning safer journeys for those travelling by foot or by bike - along with faster, more reliable trips for those taking the bus, and a better experience for those who still need to use their car.”