Auckland Transport’s (AT) board of directors has approved for consultation a draft regional transport plan for the next 10 years. The draft plan is a programme of activities and investments that will help address Auckland’s transport challenges, and from next week Aucklanders can begin providing feedback.
The approved draft 2021–2031 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) is a 10-year plan for Auckland’s transport network that focuses on areas which AT, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail will respond to to help solve our region’s transport challenges.
Mayor Phil Goff encourages Aucklanders to have their say on the proposed transport plan.
“The draft plan is guided heavily by central and local government policies, strategies and decisions, such as the Auckland Transport Alignment Programme announced earlier this month,” he says.
“It outlines the proposed 10-year investment programme for specific transport projects that will help us achieve objectives such as increasing public transport trips and walking and cycling to reduce peak-hour congestion and carbon emissions, upgrading old infrastructure and reducing our road toll.”
Shane Ellison, AT’s Chief Executive, says, “We know there are some big transport challenges facing Aucklanders and this draft transport plan is a way we can help address them alongside two of our major transport partners.
“From population growth and safety to having more travel choices, better transport connections and manging transport assets – this draft 10-year plan gives us the framework for helping to create a better Auckland.”
$36-billion of investment has been budgeted for the period 2021-2031, with all projects outlined in the RLTP. This money is to fund the transport system, renewals and maintenance, and to deliver new projects as well as those currently in construction.
The draft transport plan also addresses some of the challenges of climate change by electrifying the rail line to Pukekohe, increasing the number of electric/hydrogen buses (with recent examples including Waiheke and AirportLink fleets), starting the decarbonisation of the ferry fleet, as well as funding to support the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).
However, to achieve even greater emission reductions and climate targets, more Government involvement in the form of legislation and funding is needed around greener fuels, vehicle imports, subsidising the cost of electric vehicles, and the introduction of road pricing.
For the first time, this draft transport plan includes a programme of activities targeted at policy and regulatory interventions, in addition to project and services, which will provide Aucklanders with better outcomes for their transport system.
“Auckland is a very different city today than 20 years ago and is very different than many other parts of the country,” says Mr. Ellison.
“The public consultation process gives us the opportunity to hear from Aucklanders on possible policy changes, such as fuel emissions standards or congestion pricing that could make travelling in Auckland safer, more hassle-free, and better for the environment.”
The draft transport plan reflects and aligns the outcomes sought by the Auckland Plan, and the objectives and recommendations of four separate, but interconnected plans undergoing a refresh which are: the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), the Long-Term Plan (LTP), the Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) and the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).
All feedback received during the consultation will be combined with the feedback on transport received during Auckland Council’s Long-term Plan (LTP) consultation.
This feedback will then be analysed and presented to the Regional Transport Committee (RTC) for review and consideration before referral back to AT for approval.
Public consultation on the draft RLTP will take place 29 March to 2 May. There are number of ways to have your say, including 11 public drop-in sessions around the region.
Final decisions will be made publicly in late June 2021.
To find out more about the draft 2021 – 2031 RLTP, and how to provide feedback, go to at.govt.nz/rltp