Auckland Transport (AT) is delivering walking, cycling and bus improvements along Great North Road, between Ponsonby Road and Crummer Road. The changes make the street safer for all users, especially those walking or cycling.
Great North Road improvements include:
- safer pedestrian crossings
- more reliable and efficient bus service
- physically separating the cycleway from traffic
- creating speed tables across side streets
- larger loading zones to suit local businesses
- more trees and landscaping.
Great North Road is a major Auckland corridor, carrying large numbers of people in and out of the City Centre. The area is changing, with more residential apartments being constructed. Around the project’s section of Great North Road, the population is expected to grow by approximately 24% by 2031.
Improved access to reliable public transport and safe walking and cycling is key, as many new developments have limited access to private vehicles.
By making public transport, walking and cycling safer and more attractive, we can create better-connected communities and give people more options for how they move around the city.
Consultation on a cycleway and improvements to Great North Road
Design development and community engagement Project delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions
Consultation on an updated design
Mid-2022 Community re-engagement in advance of construction
Late 2022 to early 2023
Early 2023 to mid 2024
Before construction gets underway later this year, preparatory work is planned from August.
Over this period we will remove some street trees and dig a number of ‘test pits’ within the footpath along the length of the route. Test pits are small holes that let us check what is underground and whether it matches our plans. This prevents problems and delays during construction.
The street design
Image: View towards Grey Lynn from the intersection with Northland Street.
The improvements include a protected cycleway, new and better designed bus stops, raised pedestrian crossings, and new loading zones. These changes will make accessing Great North Road safer and easier, whether by foot, bike, bus, or car.
Bus lanes will be extended to cover the entire route, in operation between 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm, Monday to Friday. Eight new bus stops will be built, with safe access across the cycleway to a waiting area. Some existing bus stops will be moved so it’s easier to transfer between different bus services.
Raised tables on side streets and raised pedestrian crossings will reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety for people moving around Great North Road. To create space for bus lanes and a cycleway, we’ve removed the flush median along the route.
Drivers will remain able to make a right turn into side streets or to access businesses.
Image: View towards the city centre from the intersection with Beaconsfield Street.
Through consultation with the Great North Road business community, we’ve heard that on-street parking near to shops and businesses is important. Along the 1.6km route, we’ve retained parking where possible, but have prioritised safety, accessibility, and the movement of people and goods.
Since public consultation in 2021, we’ve adjusted the street design to improve sightlines around intersections. In turn, this decreases the space available for on-street parking.
Additional car parks have been created on side streets by reconfiguring existing spaces and we’re investigating the use of time restrictions to prioritise short stay parking.
We’ve also worked with businesses to ensure access for deliveries is reflected in the new street design, including the introduction of five large loading zones, suitable for vehicle transporters.
Trees and planting
Around 60 native trees and landscaping will replace 23 trees being removed to accommodate the new street design. Species to be planted include tītoki, rewarewa, cabbage tree, kānuka, pōhutukawa, horoeka, nikau and kōwhai. Each new tree will include low-level planting around its base. Bus stops and kerb buildouts will also be landscaped with species including rengarenga, maurea, toitoi, coprosma, koromiko, and flax.
This project has been designed to significantly improve safety along this stretch of road. Between 2014 and 2019, there were 11 serious injuries along the route. There have been 139 recorded crashes in this timeframe, with over 80 per cent of them occurring at intersections.
Crashes involving vulnerable road users were clustered around intersections, with 13 crashes involving motorcyclists, seven crashes involving pedestrians, and seven crashes involving people on bikes.
By installing a cycleway, crossings, and raised tables across side streets, the project will make travel safer for everyone, especially vulnerable road users.
Auckland Transport’s Strategic Network Plan, Future Connect, identifies this section of Great North Road as having strategic importance for people walking, cycling, driving and using public transport.
This project also helps deliver on The Auckland Plan. The Plan calls for improving the “safety, personal security and attractiveness of walking and cycling alternatives” and “investing in and integrating public transport and walking and cycling networks to provide convenient and efficient alternatives.”
Consultation was open from March to May, 2021. We received 274 submissions through our online survey, feedback forms, and by email. We also received a further 192 data-drops on the social pin-point platform.