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Waka Kotahi Board confirms position on Auckland Harbour Bridge lane reallocation trial

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The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Board has confirmed that it will not be opening lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge for a formal walking and cycling trial at this time.

“Waka Kotahi is strongly committed to providing a safe network for walking and cycling in the Auckland region, integrated with public transport, to support a shift to active and shared modes with better climate outcomes. However, the Board cannot support a trial of lane reallocation on the Auckland Harbour Bridge due to the significant health and safety issues associated with walking and cycling on the bridge structure at this time,” says Waka Kotahi Board Chair Sir Brian Roche.

Sir Brian says Waka Kotahi is focused on planning and delivering a range of projects in Auckland which include walking and cycling in order to encourage more people to use active transport.

Waka Kotahi continues to work with partners Auckland Council and Auckland Transport on developing a walking and cycling network across the city that is accessible, safe and appealing for Aucklanders. This includes the recently opened second stage of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path to the East, the Southern Pathway running between Takanini and Papakura, the Northern Corridor and the soon to be opened Ngā Hau Māngere (Old Mangere Bridge) to the South.

Waka Kotahi will also continue with planning for opportunities to allow Aucklanders to walk or cycle over the bridge in a safely controlled environment as part of a series of single day walking and cycling festivities this summer.

“The Board has considered lane reallocation on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on a number of occasions, and it is clear that the risks for people walking and cycling on the structure cannot be mitigated to the level where we can be confident that it is an activity which can be managed safely on a permanent basis, alongside our other considerations of managing the long term resilience of the bridge as a critical transport asset and its key role in the region’s transport network.

“The most recent safety assessment, undertaken by Waka Kotahi this year, identified a number of safety risks which would be created by the permanent reallocation of lanes for walking and cycling on the bridge.

“Waka Kotahi has undertaken a detailed analysis of all of the evidence available, and having considered that analysis, the Board has determined that a trial of lane reallocation on a permanent basis would not be appropriate at this time.”

The paper considered by the Board on lane reallocation this week [PDF, 884 KB] 

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