Two major transport projects move forward

Auckland Transport (AT) has announced significant milestones on two major projects taking them a step closer to potentially gaining funding.

The Lake Road and Glenvar Road transport improvement projects will both deliver improved safety, increased transport choices through public transport and walking and cycling, increase the capacity to move people and goods along the roads more efficiently and support the response to climate change.

The board of AT has approved the recently completed detailed business case for improvements to the transport network in the Devonport peninsula.

The board has also approved the business case for the Glenvar Road-East Coast Road project in Long Bay. Both projects are funded by the regional fuel tax and although there is currently insufficient funding to commence construction, there is an allocation of $500,000 to start the detailed design phase of the Glenvar Road project.

Planning Committee chair Councillor Chris Darby says these two roads are vital transport links to the local communities.

"Safety and network productivity on Lake Road need to be dealt with. Our proposal also includes safer pedestrian crossings and intersections and targeted transit lanes, physically protected cycle lanes. We will back that up with better travel information, greater bus and ferry integration and support for school cycle improvements.

"Auckland Transport Board's approval of the business case enables this highly anticipated project to recommence, subject to funding being confirmed in the forthcoming RLTP. Improving connections for people and addressing safety is long overdue on the peninsula."

Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison says Glenvar Road-East Coast Road also needs safety improvements. "The Glamorgan Drive-East Coast Road intersection is a high safety risk and we need to provide better walking and cycling options along the road. Once completed the improvements will also deliver better travel times for buses and private vehicles as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,000 tonnes of per annum.

"Long Bay is a growth area and if something isn't done to improve transport choices for the people in those communities, the road will continue to be used mainly by low occupancy private vehicles which means more traffic delays as well as other undesirable outcomes."

Public consultation on the draft concept design was carried out in November-December 2019, with more than 90 per cent of respondents liking the proposal.

More information on the timing of funding for the construction of both these two projects will be known following the outcome of the Long Term Plan and Regional Land Transport Plan processes which will be finalised in the first half of 2021.

If funding is available, it's hoped the Glenvar Road-East Coast Road project would be delivered in three sections starting in 2022/23 with a total budget of $52.2 million.

The Lake Road improvements will be considered for priority in the 2021-2031 RLTP. If sufficient budget becomes available, Auckland Transport will be able to confirm the timing for the recommencement of the $47 million project.