Bus passengers will soon experience more reliable journeys along Birkenhead Avenue as a new southbound T3 lane goes ahead.
Birkenhead Avenue is a key arterial road linking Beach Haven and Glenfield to the Northern Motorway via Onewa Road.
The project will improve journey times and reliability for bus passengers along Birkenhead Avenue in the morning peak.
In March 2019, Auckland Transport (AT) proposed the T3 lane - operating from 6:30am to 10am, Monday to Friday - on Birkenhead Avenue between Recreation Drive and Onewa Road.
In addition, AT proposed a new signalised pedestrian crossing on Birkenhead Avenue located north of Waratah Street. This will replace the existing pedestrian island further to the north.
Following public feedback, a 360 metre lane will operate during the morning peak and also function as on-street parking outside of that time.
The project will proceed with changes - including reducing the length of the lane to now end immediately north of Zion Road, giving access to the turning lane.
The layout of lanes leading to the Onewa Road intersection will be altered to support the T3 lane. Broken Yellow Lines parking restrictions will be painted along the western kerb.
North Shore Ward Councillor Richard Hills says the project addresses the many concerns he has heard from residents about the lack of safe crossings on Birkenhead Avenue and the regular complaints about buses being delayed by traffic.
“As a bus user myself, I too experience the Birkenhead Avenue delay which is often the slowest part of the morning journey.
“We have more bus users in our community than most parts of Auckland and this will only grow as it becomes more convenient and frequent.
“The more bus users we have, the more space on the road for those who need to drive,” Councillor Hills says.
Auckland Transport’s Group Manager of Parking Services, John Strawbridge, says the new lane is particularly important given Birkenhead Avenue is a key arterial route.
“Roughly 40% of people using the road are in a bus and roughly two thirds of people heading towards the motorway are in a bus.
“These changes will be most helpful for buses, as well as people in cars with three or more occupants,” John Strawbridge says.