Transport Design Manual Transport Design Manual

From 1 July 2024, the Auckland Council Group is adopting the national height system New Zealand Vertical Datum 2016 (NZVD2016). All new projects done after this date must use this new Datum unless stated otherwise. All current projects will continue in the datum it was designed in.

For more information about NZVD2016, download the NZVD2016 Datum Change Impact Assessment Technical Report for Auckland Council (PDF 6.5MB).

The Transport Design Manual is a set of guides, codes and specifications that are specifically created for the Auckland region based on international best practice and robust common engineering theory.


Roads and streets represent a large portion of public space in Auckland and cater for a wide variety of users undertaking many different activities.

The Auckland region is comprised of 70% rural area and 30% urban area, with the majority of people living and working in the urban area. The scale and pace of growth in Auckland combined with increasing intensification and the development of Auckland's urban areas and Greenfields is placing increased pressure on an already constrained road and street network and limited road space to deliver quality place and multi-modal transport objectives.

To address this pressure, AT and Auckland Council have been looking at better ways to plan and manage our roads and streets to better reflect the full range of modes, activities and functions that occur on them.


The Transport Design Manual (TDM) provides the design guidance and engineering requirements for the development and delivery of well-designed transport projects and their operation. The manual draws upon design approaches and practices, which have been successful in many cities and rural areas worldwide.

The TDM has 3 sections, design principles, engineering standards and specifications. Together, these sections allow end user outcomes, engineering design and construction requirements to be clearly identified and designed. The manual has been created to be a cascaded principle based approach that ensures consistency from strategic planning through to detailed design and construction of the outcomes.

The entire manual sets out:

  1. The design principles and approaches to designing user outcomes.
  2. How to apply safe design and safe speed requirements to achieve Vision Zero outcomes.
  3. Design guidance and key transport catchment for designing liveable, connected neighbourhoods and town centres, particularly in Greenfields.
  4. How to build a street from basic elements and how intersections should be designed to support this.
  5. The detailed engineering requirements to design and construct the facilities necessary for the users identified by the Design Guides.
  6. The construction specifications required to achieve consistent construction outcomes, including the opportunities to utilise recycled, synthetic and manmade products.

The Roads and Streets Framework and Transport Design Manual are complementary documents. Both documents when applied together will provide guidance to internal staff (such as Council family project teams), external parties (such as Government agencies, consultants and developers) about AT's requirements for the planning, design, construction and management of the road and street network, and the vesting of assets that will be managed by AT.

The TDM is a living document that is continually updated to ensure they are fit for purpose and reflect best practice.

Working together in an integrated approach

The Transport Design Manual brings together the key players in the design, development and improvement of Auckland's road and street network so that the strategic and local place and movement functions are balanced and integrated to meet the multiple outcomes sought from them. The early involvement of the Council family of organisations, key partners such as Mana Whenua, Waka Kotahi NZTA and other stakeholders such as developers and utility companies is critical. The process is deliberately holistic and multi-disciplinary, recognising that no one profession or organisation has all the answers in how to achieve integrated and place-sensitive solutions for roads and streets.

The TDM is for everyone who plays a part in managing, designing, improving or determining the quality of roads and streets in Auckland, including engineers, planners, urban designers, project managers, developers, politicians and users.


Strategic fit

Strategic documents such as the Auckland Transport Alignment Project and the Auckland Plan, together with Future Connect feed into the Roads and Streets Framework providing strategic direction. In turn, the Road and Streets Framework provides the vision for streets, guiding the Transport Design Manual as shown in the figure below.

The Road and Streets framework and Transport Design Manual within the broader planning framework.
Download image depicting strategic direction  (JPG 269KB)

The Transport Design Manual provides the design and technical specification to deliver projects and other improvements that ensure projects are aligned to strategic direction.

Launch and releases

The TDM has been soft launched over a period of 4 months to allow the design, engineering and construction industries to familiarise with it, evaluate and provide feedback.

As a result, the following will apply:

  • The current Auckland Transport Code of Practice (ATCoP) can not be utilised for new projects, except for areas or content not covered in the TDM such as further developments for existing or consenting subdivision. In these cases the ATCoP must be used.
  • Any new subdivisions or private developments must utilise the TDM.
  • Feedback can be sent at any time by emailing
  • All feedback received so far and in the future has been and will be evaluated, responded too and if deemed appropriate, incorporated in to the relevant TDM section.
  • ATCoP has now legacy status and the TDM is the primary reference for design, engineering and implementation documentation for AT managed assets or assets to be managed by AT.
  • Any existing design that was approved or consented using ATCoP will continue to use ATCoP until vested or completed.
  • Any Designs that are commenced using ATCoP after the full live date of the TDM will not be accepted by AT.

Section 1: Design guidance

Section 2: Detailed technical requirements

Engineering Design Code

Includes minimum standards, considerations and drawings required to undertake accurate and detailed designs based on a component approach for facilities.

Design toolbox

Design Tools to support the various Engineering Design Codes. Coming soon.

Standard Engineering Details

Standard details for common elements such as kerbs, footpaths and drainage devices.

Section 3: Specifications for Transport Infrastructure

Section 4: Practice Notes

Practice Notes have effect immediately on publication. They may override published TDM standards for urgent safety reasons. Necessary changes to affected TDM documents will be incorporated in future updates.


Legacy AT Code of Practice

The AT Code of Practice remains active to provide guidance for projects already in design at the time Transport Design Manual (TDM) became operational and for subdivision use, and to address matters not covered in the TDM.

TDM will replace ATCoP completely and ATCoP will be considered legacy once the new transport chapter for land subdivision, based on the TDM, is released as part of the Auckland Council integrated code of practice for land subdivision.


Feedback can be sent at any time by emailing

Supporting appendix documents

Appendix documents for Street Lighting Engineering Design Code