Great North Road upgrade must work for communities as well as commuters

Auckland Transport (AT) is asking for feedback on a series of proposals which, if implemented, would include major changes to Great North Road from Karangahape Road to Grey Lynn.

Chair of Waitematā Local Board, Richard Northey, says the proposal is intended to achieve safer walking and cycling connections throughout Waitematā - while also improving bus efficiency for public transport users.

“We’re happy to see the inclusion of safe car transporter loading zones included in the design, to serve the many car dealerships along the road. We hope Auckland Transport can work hard to make sure there are at least as many trees replanted as possible, when construction occurs.”

Chair of Grey Lynn and Around – the Grey Lynn Business Association, Paul Stephenson, says upgrading Great North Road is well overdue.

“There is huge potential to revitalise the areas between Karangahape Road and Great North Road and what happens with the road is critical for the future of local business,” Mr Stephenson says.

“Any roading upgrade has to work for communities as well as commuters. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to connect Grey Lynn to the city and build a better place for new businesses along the Great North Road ridge.

“We are looking forward to working closely and constructively with AT as they consult on the plans for the roading and cityscape improvements over the next couple of months.

“We will be working with local businesses to ensure that they understand the proposals and that their voices are heard. We are also looking forward to working closely with the Grey Lynn Residents Association as the proposed solution must work for the people who live in the area.”

David Batten, of the Grey Lynn Residents Association, says this is a prime opportunity to realise the potential of Great North Road and do even more than what is proposed.

“The Great North Road precinct has the potential to become a boulevard of international significance with a thriving streetscape that is safe for both pedestrians and cyclists.

“We have just released a community led vision for Great North Road and it’s more than just the planned removal of parking, the addition of cycle lanes, bus stops and pedestrian crossings.”

The changes AT are asking for feedback on include: New separated bike lanes, extending the bus lane hours, adding raised tables near intersections, four new loading zones for car transporters, removing the flush median, changing the car parking, and adding new signalised crossings.

Auckland Transport’s Integrated Corridors Manager, Matthew Rednall, says Great North Road is a very busy area for both people and traffic.

“We are proposing changes to make the corridor safer for all users, improve reliability for public transport, walking and cycling; and to provide more choices for people to move around. We are looking forward to hearing from the community and working closely with our partners to help us determine the future of this growing part of our city.”

Between 2014 and 2019, there was 11 serious injuries along the route. In total, there has been 139 crashes in this timeframe, with more than 80 per cent of them occurring at intersections.

This is the second time AT has asked for feedback on this proposal, with the first proposal out for feedback in 2016.

This feedback and continued conversations with the community has helped to inform and influence the current proposal.

The proposal is open for public feedback until 7 May 2021.

Find out more and have your say on the Great North Road safety improvements page. 

Great North Road render