The NZ Transport Agency is seeking community feedback on the latest design plans for an integrated transport plan on Auckland’s North Shore.
The Northern Corridor Improvements project aims to provide a new strategic motorway connection to complete the Western Ring Route and support the significant growth of housing and employment in the Albany Metropolitan area, as well as future housing areas.
The project plans include a direct connection between the Northern Motorway (SH1) and an upgraded Upper Harbour Highway (SH18); improvedlocal road links, an extension of the Northern Busway, and more than 5kms of proposed new walking and cycling paths.
As well as focusing on motorway and road improvements, the project commits significant investment to encourage the use of public transport and walking and cycling, says the Transport Agency’s Auckland and Northland Highways Manager Brett Gliddon.
“We’re working with Auckland Transport on plans to extend the Northern Busway, so buses can travel further on the network. This extension will improve bus trip reliability andprovide a more efficient bus network on the North Shore.
“We’d also welcome feedback on our joint plans with Auckland Transport for what could form more than 25 kilometres of a new linked up network of walking and cycling paths through local roads and parks.”
The Northern Corridor Improvements project is part of the Accelerated Auckland package funded by Government to prioritise projects that will get Auckland moving. It will provide better links for Northern Motorway (SH1) travellers in Auckland and improve transport options on the North Shore for freight, cars, pedestrians and cyclists. It includes a new motorway connection between SH1 and SH18, opening up access to the Western Ring Route and airport.
But Mr Gliddon also believes it will have a special appeal for North Shore residents. “The new motorway connection provides direct motorway access all the way from the North Shore to Auckland Airport. The journey time at the moment is hugely variable, so we are sure the community will appreciate the plans for an alternative route and more reliable journey times.”
The Transport Agency is working closely with Auckland Transport (AT) on the best way to integrate AT’s wider planning for bus route changes and cycling into the design plans.
AT’s more efficient and effective bus network, will enable more people to easily transfer between local buses and the busway to travel quickly around the North Shore.
Auckland Transport is investigating new busway station options in the Rosedale/lower Albany area, and is considering issues such as the local topography, connections to residential and business areas, and how best to serve future growth.
Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling Manager, Kathryn King, says cycling and walking paths planned as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project supports the $200 million joint investment in cycling in Auckland over the next three years by connecting with existing and future paths in the area.
“It’s all part of our strategy of building a city where people can get to where they want to more easily by bike or foot and it’s great news for people living in this part of Auckland.”
Since 2014, the Transport Agency has been working with Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, local boards, iwi, property owners and stakeholders as well as business associations to develop the plans for the Northern Corridor project. Feedback was first sought on multiple concepts in November 2014. Since then the Transport Agency has held ongoing workshops and meetings and undertaken more detailed geotechnical, traffic and safety analysis. This work has been combined with the community and stakeholder feedback to propose the latest design plans released today.
The plans are now available on NZTA’s website at: www.nzta.govt.nz/auckland-northern-corridor(external link)
Community feedback is welcome through the online form provided on the website, or by visiting the project team at one of the open days:
The opportunity to give feedback is open between now and Friday 18 September, 2015.
The feedback will be combined with other key stakeholder and technical analysis to inform the final design next year. Construction for the Northern Corridor Improvements project is expected to start in 2018.