T2 lanes, direct buses, park & ride and the shared path on the CNC
From Monday 11 January 2021, the T2 lanes, the Park & Ride facilities in Kaiapoi and Rangiora and the new direct bus services between Waimakariri and Christchurch CBD will be operational. The new Christchurch Northern Corridor and these projects will encourage more people to move in fewer vehicles and provide alternative travel options between Christchurch city and the Waimakariri District.
Drivers can use the T2 lanes if they have one or more passenger. There will be two carpool lanes.
This animation shows how the Christchurch Northern Corridor carpooling lanes will operate:
T2 – Travel 2gether
The T2 lanes on the Christchurch Northern Corridor will mean people who are travelling together, or using public transport, won’t get caught up in morning congestion while heading into the city.
Carpooling saves you money and is more environmentally friendly than driving alone. You can cut your fuel and parking costs, while reducing congestion and harmful emissions. Car or bus passengers can also put their commuting time to better use.
Travel with at least one passenger in your car to use the new T2 lanes. Buses and motorbikes can also use an operational T2 lane.
There are two T2 lanes southbound on the new CNC motorway:
- The Tram Road On-Ramp T2 lane operates 24/7. It is also a freight lane which is open to trucks.
- The CNC Motorway T2 lane is in operation from 6am to 9am, in the right-hand lane, on weekday mornings.
View larger image [PDF, 31 KB]
Direct buses to the CBD
Metro is starting a new direct bus service.
The new, fast and direct bus services to central Christchurch include four morning trips from both Rangiora and Kaiapoi, and five afternoon trips back to each township. Save on petrol and parking, gain back some ‘me time’, and help reduce traffic emissions by giving the new services a go:
- 91 Rangiora – City direct
- 92 Kaiapoi – City direct
- Free Wi-Fi
- Standard Metro fares apply.
Check out all Waimakariri bus timetables at metro.co.nz(external link)
Park & Ride
Waimakariri District Council is adding more Park & Ride facilities in Kaiapoi and Rangiora.
Use the Park & Ride facilities to take advantage of the T2 lanes, parking your car or bike and then catching the bus or even meeting up with friends to carpool.
Rangiora Park & Ride:
- Northern Rangiora – River Road beside the dog park
- Central Rangiora – White Street in the existing location beside Dudley Park
- Southern Rangiora – South Belt, at Southbrook Park
Kaiapoi Park & Ride:
- Central Kaiapoi – behind New World between Sewell Street and Charles Street
- Southern Kaiapoi – just south of the Tram Road on-ramp at Wrights Road
Each Park & Ride facility has lighting, security cameras and facilities for secure bike storage. Parking is free.
Learn more at waimakariri.govt.nz/park-and-ride(external link)
Walking and riding
The CNC off road shared path runs along the entire length of the new motorway, and then connects to new and existing paths both north to Waimakariri and south to central Christchurch. With the increase of e-bikes, commuting from Belfast and north of the Waimakariri River is now a real possibility. The new clip-on path over the Waimakariri River provides access over the river for all cycle skill levels.
Detailed CNC shared path map [PDF, 3.3 MB]
Frequently asked T2 lane questions
- What is the benefit of carpooling/ride sharing and having a managed lane?
The benefits of using a T2 lane are widespread – they provide an excellent option for getting into the city a bit faster and help reduce the environmental impact of too many cars on the road.
With more people in one vehicle, and better public transport, we should all notice less traffic on the road at busy times in the morning. That will mean the whole motorway will work better.
If you carpool or drive in with a member of your family or someone you know, the good news is you can start using the lane once it opens. This means you’ll beat the congestion, saving yourself time, and potentially money (if you take turns).
It goes without saying that if you’re a passenger, you also get to enjoy the view of our beautiful new motorway. Or you could finish your homework, or get a few emails done before getting to work.
- Are there cameras on the new CNC motorway?
There are 3 different cameras systems on the new CNC Motorway:
Operational CCTV System
The CCTV cameras along the CNC Motorway give almost 100% visual coverage of this new road. This information is used to help crews on the ground and in the Transport Operations Centres help manage traffic during congestion or traffic incidents. The cameras also play a role in the management of the T2 lane.
T2 Lane Cameras
These cameras are used to monitor the T2 lanes and are close enough to the ground to be able to see inside vehicles. These cameras will be used to monitor vehicles travelling in the T2 lanes.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras
These cameras 'read' the number plates of vehicles at different points along the CNC corridor. This information is used to calculate travel times along the road, and this is then displayed on the journey time signs. Number plates are encoded within the cameras so individual vehicles number plates cannot be retrieved.
- Why is the CNC project including T2 lanes?
When we were widening the Waimakariri bridge as part of construction of the CNC, we had a unique opportunity to future-proof the network and provide more choices by introducing a southbound lane that could operate as a T2 lane during morning peak.
The lane will mean people who are travelling together in the same vehicle, or using public transport, won’t get caught up in morning congestion while heading into the city.
It’s a great way to encourage people to change how they travel. It gives people transport choices so they can save money, get into the city faster, and have less of an impact on the environment. If more people share vehicles, take buses or ride bikes, the fewer cars will be on the road.
Ultimately, that’s great news for everyone.
- What is a T2 lane?
A T2 lane is a restricted traffic lane reserved 24/7 or during peak times for the exclusive use of vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers. This includes family members of all ages, friends or colleagues travelling together, carpools, vanpools, buses and taxis.
These lanes are also known as a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane, a priority lane, a 2+ lane or a transit lane.
They are designed to encourage more people into fewer vehicles, including public transport. This in turn helps prevent people getting stuck in traffic – while reducing the impact on our environment.
- Who can use a T2 Lane
You can use the T2 lanes if you have one or more passengers. Your need to have two or more people in your vehicle including the driver.
Buses can also use T2 lanes. Motorcycles are also allowed in this lane with or without a passenger.
- Where can I take the T2 lane from?
There are two Carpool/T2 lanes, one on SH1 and one on the new CNC motorway (SH74).
The SH1 Carpool/T2 lane starts at the intersection of Main North Road and Tram Road. This T2 Lane is in the left-hand lane and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This lane is a carpool/T2 lane and a freight lane, so both vehicles with at least one passenger and freight vehicles can use this lane. This lane ends midway over the Waimakariri bridge to allow for traffic changing lanes and exiting at the Chaney’s off-ramp.
The second stretch of carpool/T2 lane – is on the CNC motorway. From just before the Main North Road bridge, the right-hand lane is a carpool lane from 6am to 9am on weekday mornings and is only for vehicles carrying at least one passenger. Freight vehicles cannot use this lane between 6am and 9am. Outside of peak morning hours, any vehicle may use this lane. The carpool lane ends just before the Cranford Street roundabout.
- Why are you trying to get more people into less vehicles, why not get people onto bicycles, or onto buses?
The carpool lane is just one part of a wider transport improvement package which will give people more choices for getting into and out of the city.
The new CNC motorway has also allowed us, together with ECAN and Waimakariri District Council, to provide a direct bus service, park and ride facilities and a new cycleway across the Waimakariri River connecting to a shared use path along the length of the new motorway with connections to at each end to North Canterbury and central city.
- The congestion is not too bad now. Why do you even need to have a T2 lane?
The T2 lane will help us prevent traffic congestion getting worse in future.
But even today, people will notice the benefits of being able to use the T2 lane. We will still see reduced traffic, reduced driving costs and less harmful emissions.
It also makes good economic sense to widen the Waimakariri bridge and build the features for the T2 lane now, while the Alliance is building the CNC motorway. It would be much more costly to design and construct it later.
Providing the facilities and infrastructure to make it easier for people to walk, cycle, take public transport and carpool will help provide a more balanced transport system today, and in the future.
With the carpool lanes on CNC we are future proofing the new infrastructure. Travel to and from the north may not be that congested just yet, but we are getting people to change their habits now.
- Why should I carpool/share a ride?
Sharing a ride either on a bus or carpooling is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than driving alone. You can cut your fuel and parking costs and at the same time reduce congestion and harmful emissions.
- Why is there no northbound T2 lane on the CNC?
The afternoon and evening (northbound) traffic is more dispersed and spread over several hours. Evidence shows the problem is southbound during morning peak. By encouraging more people into fewer vehicles in the morning, it means there are fewer vehicles to return northbound in the afternoon.
- Why does the T2 lane stop about 450m north of the Cranford roundabout?
This is to allow for traffic changing lanes and exiting at the Cranford Street roundabout. There are some physical and operational constraints beyond this point onto Cranford Street.
The Christchurch City Council is investigating and implementing measures to manage the downstream effects. There will be more information on how they intend to manage traffic on Cranford Street south of Innes Road soon.
- Were you always going to include a Carpool/T2 lane, was it in the original plans?
The Carpool/T2 lane was not part of the CNC project at the start of the construction in late 2016. A corridor study from 2016 had, however, already put forward the idea of a Carpool/T2 lane to manage ongoing traffic growth.
The Canterbury Regional Transport Committee supported this idea in September 2017 as a variation to the Regional Land Transport Plan.
The CNC Alliance, supported by the Greater Christchurch Partnership, agreed to include a third southbound lane and a clip-on cycleway into the widening of the Waimakariri Bridge work in 2017. The CNC already had staff and equipment on site for the northbound widening so including the southbound widening made sense. Doing the work as part of the CNC project has been more cost effective, minimising impacts on the river and minimising disruption to users.
In 2018, Waka Kotahi continued to investigate the operations of a southbound T2 lane and this led into design, further travel demand measures and construction funding.
- Is there public support for T2 lanes?
Research conducted by the Ecan, WDC and Waka Kotahi into carpooling and the introduction of a direct bus service has shown that many people support the idea of a T2 lane to encourage efficient use of the transport network.
Christchurch City Council research into the downstream effects on Cranford Street and the St Albans area has shown this also.
- Does this project include building an extra lane to be a Carpool/T2 lane?
From the Tram Road/Main North Road intersection around the Tram Road On-ramp to south of the Waimakariri Bridge the roadway has been widened to three lanes. The left-hand lane is for the T2 Lane.
The T2 lane farther south on the CNC is within the existing footprint: it uses one of the two motorway lanes during peak time.
- How will it be enforced?
Cameras will be used to monitor the new T2 lanes. Drivers can be fined $150 for using the T2 lane without a passenger. However, we recognise that T2 lanes are new to the region and so we will be giving people time to get used to the lanes and experience their benefits before we start enforcing.
To start with, we will give everyone a chance to get used to the T2 lanes and how they work. After this, we will be observing and monitoring the lanes to see how well people understand and are sticking to the rules, more targeted information and warning will follow and fines will be the final stage.