Joint media release: NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport
New bus and transit lanes are proposed to speed up buses between Mangere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park which often get stuck in traffic.
They are part of the East West Connections project and one of a series of major improvements on the way for public transport between Mangere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park, which include:
- A simpler and more connected south Auckland public transport network from mid-2016 with high frequency services, including a Frequent Network bus route between Mangere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park.
- A new Ōtāhuhu Bus and Train Interchange, providing easier transfers, more comfort and accessibility for passengers, which is due to open in the second quarter of 2016
- Bus and transit lanes between Mangere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park – East West Connections project.
- New bus shelters along the Mangere- Ōtāhuhu -Sylvia Park frequent route – East West Connections project.
- An upgraded Mangere Bus Station and new Ōtāhuhu town centre bus stops – East West Connections project.
- An upgraded Sylvia Park Bus Station adjacent to the train station and new dedicated busway link road to create a bus route that avoids the more congested parts of Mt Wellington Highway – AMETI project.
Between Mangere and Sylvia Park it also features cycle lanes or shared paths to improve cycle and pedestrian safety. The other East West Connections project is improvements to freight connections in and out of the Onehunga-Penrose industrial hub.
The East West Connections is a joint NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport project to improve freight efficiency, commuter travel, public transport and walking and cycling options over the next 30 years.
The project is a key priority for central government, which contributes to half of all public transport investment through various funding streams across Auckland.
Community feedback on the Mangere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park bus and cycle improvements and the preferred approach for improving freight connections to the Onehunga-Penrose industrial hub is open until 17 July at www.nzta.govt.nz/east-west and www.at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/east-west-connections.
Auckland Transport’s Key Strategic Initiatives Project Director, Theunis Van Schalkwyk, says that the plans propose bus and transit lanes at key pinch points along the future Frequent Network bus route.
“Buses often get stuck in traffic, for example along Massey and Walmsley roads. The average travel time at 8am is 22 minutes between Mangere and Ōtāhuhu, but congestion and queuing can slow this down to 30 minutes. Buses between Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park can take anywhere between 17 and 29 minutes.
“The bus and transit lanes would speed up bus journeys to just 31 minutes between Mangere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park. Most importantly, passengers will be able to rely on that being the travel time at any time of the day.
“We’d like feedback on the locations of the priority lanes and the mix of bus lanes, transit lanes and bus/truck lanes. The majority of the lanes will be exclusive to buses and cars with multiple occupants, however the Walmsley Road lane will also allow trucks as they make up about 10% of traffic volumes,” Mr Van Schalkwyk says.
NZ Transport Agency’s Auckland Regional Director Ernst Zöllner says the Transport Agency is committed to working with its partners and communities to build stronger connections across the city.
“That means connecting customers seamlessly to their destinations regardless of whether they are walking, cycling, driving or using public transport.”
Cycling and walking improvements:
- A separated cycleway on Massey Road and part of Mt Wellington Highway.
- An on-road cycleway on Thomas Road, Orly Avenue and Station Road.
- A shared path for cyclists and pedestrians on parts of Walmsley Road, Massey Road and Mt Wellington Highway.
- Improved pedestrian crossings on Massey Road, Atkinson Avenue and Mt Wellington Highway.
Creating the bus and cycle lanes will mean proposed changes to parking on some sections of the route, such as parts of Station Road and Massey Road. Feedback is wanted from the community to understand the current use of parking along these busy roads to help with further developing the plans.
The Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are holding a series of open days this month for people to find out more about the projects and provide feedback.
Dates and locations for the open days are:
- Thursday 25 June, 6pm to 10 pm - Onehunga Night Markets, Dress-Smart, 151 Arthur Street.
- Saturday 27 June, 9am to 2pm - Māngere Town Centre, 93 Bader Drive (outside the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board Office).
- Saturday 4 July, 3 to 6pm - Onehunga Café, 259 Onehunga Mall.