Next three stages of Queen Street improvements gather pace

Last Updated : 24 Jun 2021
Northern Section Of Queen Street Finished Resize

A timeline for the next three stages of improvements to Queen Street, from Shortland Street to Mayoral Drive, was announced by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport today. The programme of improvements will be complete by the end of June 2022.

Next month Auckland Council will begin stakeholder engagement on the next section of the project between Shortland and Victoria Streets. The concept design will be shared with Aucklanders for consultation in August, with construction beginning in late September.

The improvements to the section of Queen Street between Customs and Shortland Streets are in progress and will be completed by the end of this month. 

To manage bus flow and to enable the next phase of Queen Street improvements to begin, the removal of the COVID-19 emergency works will start this week. The ‘hit sticks and sugar cubes’, as they have become known, will be removed by July.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says: “All of these improvements will help create a people-friendly, vibrant and accessible streetscape that can be enjoyed by everyone who lives, works, shops and spends time on Queen Street.

“By the end of June next year, the Queen Street improvements will be delivered from Customs Street up to Mayoral Drive, with consultation at every stage,” he says.

Barry Potter, Auckland Council Director of Infrastructure and Environmental Services, says the Queen Street improvements will continue to take a section-by-section approach, engaging with the community and stakeholders and monitoring and evaluating proposed changes throughout.

“Our plan is to use high-quality paving materials, street furniture and planting, in a people-prioritised design, taking on board the feedback we get on the works currently being completed at the northern end," he says.

The full programme for community consultation and planned works from July 2021 to June 2022 has been announced as follows:

June to July 2021

Removal of all remaining emergency works barriers and most of the extended bus platforms. Two of the bus platforms will be retained.

August 2021

Public engagement on design concepts for Shortland St to Victoria St (Zone 3)

Late September to late November 2021

Construction of Zone 3

November 2021

Public engagement on design concepts for Victoria Street to Wellesley Street (Zone 4)

January to late February 2022

Construction of Zone 4

March 2022

Public engagement on design concepts for Wellesley Street to Mayoral Drive (Zone 5)

May to end June 2022

Construction of Zone 5

Chair of the Planning Committee Councillor Chris Darby says: “The vision for Queen Street outlined in our City Centre Masterplan is unshakeable. We’re entirely committed to creating a great street for people that is inviting, accessible and lively, and free from drive-through traffic.”

Once the removal of emergency works is complete Auckland Transport advises that:

  • A peak time bus lane operating northbound between Shortland Street and Customs Street (7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday) is proposed.
  • 24-hour bus lanes operating north and southbound between Mayoral Drive and Shortland Street will be reinstated. A second lane in each direction will be available to general traffic.
  • Two of the extended bus platforms from the COVID-19 emergency works will be retained to support increased bus movements in Queen Street, due to CRL construction. The platforms being retained are the City Link stop outside the Airedale Hotel and the multi-stop platform opposite The Civic.
  • More than half of the additional buses using Queen Street (as a result of the closure of the Victoria Street and Albert Street intersection) will be fully electric.
  • AT proposes that parking spaces on Queen Street be set aside for the loading and unloading of passengers or goods and some additional mobility spaces.
  • AT recognises that the bus-only section between Wellesley Street and Wakefield Street was well supported in the consultation and will explore this when Zone 5 design work begins.

A feedback report on all proposals included in the most recent consultation is expected shortly.

Auckland Transport would like to thank Aucklanders who provided feedback in response to the recent consultation. This feedback will be used to shape designs and proposals for Queen Street as the improvements move towards Mayoral Drive in the stages for each zone outlined today.

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