Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

Great North Road - Safety, bus, and cycling improvements Great North Road - Safety, bus, and cycling improvements

Auckland Transport (AT) are proposing to make a section of Great North Road (between Crummer Road and Ponsonby Road) safer for all road users, especially people walking and on bikes, make bus journeys more reliable, and help reduce congestion along the route.


Project status: Consultation - feedback closed Friday 7 May 2021.
Project zone: Central


Project overview

Auckland Transport (AT) is proposing to make a section of Great North Road safer for people walking and on bikes, make bus journeys more reliable, and help reduce congestion along the route. The improvements are proposed for a section of Great North Road between Crummer Road and Ponsonby Road. The project is funded by Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZTA.

The proposed improvements include:

  • Eight safer and more effective bus stops, removing six stops to improve bus efficiency.
  • A change to the afternoon peak bus lane operating hours from 4-7 pm to 3-7 pm.
  • Three additional signalised pedestrian and cycling crossings, and upgrades to the existing three.
  • Separated 1.8 wide on-road cycle paths on each side of Great North Road, with a 0.6m wide physical separator between the cycleway and the bus lane.
  • Four loading bays, suitable for large car transporters, for use outside of bus lane hours.
  • Approx. 115 parking spaces were removed to address safety issues around visibility and to make space for the cycleways.
  • Reconfiguring car parks to create 10 new P60 near the top of side streets where they intersect with Great North Road (includes Coleridge Street, Northland Street, Elgin Street, Beaconsfield Street, Grosvenor Street and Scanlan Street) off Great North Road.
  • The removal of the flush median strip down the centre of the road.

A small number of trees may need to be removed to make room for these changes but would be replaced where possible by up to 60 new trees. There is limited space to replace these trees due to utility requirements, but we would work with Auckland Council on options to ensure as many of the trees could be retained.

Great North Road was reviewed as part of Auckland Transport’s Waitematā Safe Routes project in 2016 – it was referred to as Route 4. We spoke to affected communities and interested groups and businesses to hear the concerns and issues they are experiencing on this route. This feedback and continued conversations with the community have helped to inform and influence our current proposal.


Project details

Great North Road is a major corridor in Auckland central, carrying large amounts of traffic in and out of the City Centre. Over the next five to ten years, the area will change considerably. With more residential apartments being constructed and less industrial activity occurring, the population close to this project’s section of Great North Road is expected to grow by approximately 24% by 2031.

Under the Unitary Plan, the section of Great North Road that this project is addressing will have a mixture of land use areas. However, much of this is zoned for high-density residential housing, some of which has already been developed. Over the coming years, the population in the area is predicted to grow significantly.

Buildings of four to six storeys are allowed within the project area. These new housing developments mean Auckland Transport has to react and improve the infrastructure which serves them. Improved access to reliable public transport and safe walking and cycling infrastructure is key, as many new developments have limited access to private vehicles.

With this increase in population comes the need for better community transport facilities. By making public transport, walking and cycling safer and more attractive, we can create better-connected communities in the central city, and improve traffic flow for people and businesses.

Download the Great North Road full-length map plans (PDF 5MB)

Download the designs for the Great North Road proposal (PDF 2.8MB)

Benefits

  • Improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and vulnerable road users.
  • Expand the central city cycling network.
  • Improve bus trip reliability and efficiency.
  • Reduce congestion in the central city.

View the artist impressions of Great North Road safety improvements below

Artist's impression of Great North Road safety improvements
Example of the transporter loading bay.

Artist's impression of Great North Road safety improvements
Example of side street raised table intersection.

Artist's impression of Great North Road safety improvements
Example of bus stop

Artist's impression of Great North Road safety improvements
Example of signalised pedestrian/cycle crossing

Improving safety for all road users

As a Vision Zero organisation, Auckland Transport is committed to having zero deaths and serious injuries on the road network by 2050.

We want a transport system that prioritises safety, not a system that puts other measures ahead of human life. We will get you there safely, as efficiently as we can. This is a shift away from the conventional “costs versus benefit” used to decide how much money to spend on our road network, towards valuing the benefit of decreasing risk to our community using our transport network every day.

This project has been designed to address the significant safety issues all road users face today, on this stretch of road. Between 2014 and 2019, there have been 11 serious injuries along the route. In total, there have been 139 crashes in this timeframe, with over 80 per cent of them occurring at intersections.

This proposal intends to fix the issues at intersections along the route and make travel safer for vulnerable road users. The raised tables at intersections with side streets along the route will provide safety benefits for everyone, especially vulnerable road users. Crashes involving vulnerable road users were clustered around intersections too, with 13 crashes involving motorcyclists, seven crashes involving pedestrians, and seven crashes with people on bikes. There are no safe cycle lanes along the route, meaning people on bikes are at direct risk from fast moving vehicles when on the road.

This proposal fits in with the Safe System approach that Vision Zero encompasses. It aims to create a transport system that is built for human beings and acknowledges that people make mistakes and that mistakes shouldn’t cost them their life.

Cycling in the inner city

As Auckland’s population grows, we need to provide more travel choices and find ways to make it easier and safer for people to walk or ride a bike in our city.

Along this route there are three main cycling issues this proposal is designed to fix:

  • Poorly designed intersections are unsafe for pedestrians and people on bikes.
  • Poor cycling connections, high vehicle speeds, and lack of protected cycleways create significant barriers to improving uptake of cycling along Great North Road.
  • Population growth and changing land use will increase pressure on the route, and increase the need for more reliable public transport, and safer walking and cycling facilities.

Crash data across all of Auckland suggest that cycle-related crashes and often clustered on or around main arterial roads that attract significant transport demands. Great North Road is a good example of this type of road as it moves large amounts of public transport services, private vehicles, people on bikes, pedestrians, and is also a key route for the freight industry.

Currently, cycle connectivity along Great North Road is poor. There is nothing along this route to connect with Karangahape Road at the city end or the outer suburbs at the western end. This void makes cycling unappealing to local residents and workers who currently must share the road with general traffic.

This proposal aims to continue the expansion of the cycle network and create further cycling links from the Central City, out to surrounding suburbs. It will directly link up with the soon to be completed Karangahape Road enhancements project and create a safe option for people on bikes to reach places like Western Springs, Point Chevalier and Mount Albert.

Great North Road is a long, straight and wide main arterial in the heart of central Auckland which carries large amounts of traffic. In their current state, vehicles can maintain high speeds while sharing the road with people on bikes. Small increases in speed, quickly raise the risk of death or serious injury in the event of a crash. Read more information about the reason for safe speeds.

AT is growing our cycle network to connect communities and provide more access to safe walking and cycling infrastructure.

We want to create a future where everyone feels comfortable riding a bike. We can only do this if there are safe, connected places making it easier for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to ride or walk – whether it be to school, work, the local shops, the football grounds or to visit friends and whānau.

This proposal aims to further extend the cycle network
This proposal aims to further extend the cycle network.

Travelling by bus in the inner city

Bus services on this section of Great North Road head to the city centre, Ponsonby and Wynyard Quarter in one direction and to Kingsland, Point Chevalier and popular destinations in West Auckland in the other direction. This project will see bus stops moved to make it easier to transfer between the different bus services using this section of road. With frequent services, and simple transfers to other public transport services that allow you to get to many more destinations, Great North Road buses are an easy travel option for everyone.

With an increasing number of cars joining our road network and the region’s forecasted population growth, there is a pressing need to improve public transport as our dependence on single occupancy vehicles is not sustainable.

That’s why, around Auckland, we’re working hard to improve public transport and make it easier and safer for people to walk and use other active modes of travel like riding bikes and e-scooters.

Improving public transport services has the potential to benefit motorists as well - a full bus can remove 50 cars from the road. By giving priority on the road to buses and increasing their frequency, bus services can become a more attractive option resulting in more available space on roads for those whose journey cannot be made on public transport.

Strategic overview

The recently released 2021 Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport focuses on the improvement of people’s wellbeing and the liveability of places by providing an integrated and well-structured transport system. It does this by contributing to five key outcomes, identified in the Ministry of Transport’s Transport Outcomes Framework:

  • Inclusive access.
  • Economic prosperity.
  • Healthy and safe people.
  • Environmental sustainability.
  • Resilience and security.

The Great North Road proposal aligns with these outcomes through the development of additional transport choices to the Grey Lynn and surrounding areas. This improves access to social and economic opportunities by creating cheaper modes of transport and therefore providing inclusive access. The project also seeks to improve safety, particularly for vulnerable users, and promotes the health and safety of people. The project also focuses on improving the attractiveness of other modes of transport, away from private vehicle use and towards more environmentally friendly modes while supporting greater economic activity by prioritising efficient movement of people to places of economic activity.

This project, therefore, has a strong alignment with the GPS 2021 strategic priorities, helping to deliver on four of the five key transport system outcomes.
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 design seeks to ensure that all of these ways of travel are unlocked in this corridor.

This project also helps deliver on The Auckland Plan. The current proposal will help reduce congestion by providing more attractive sustainable transport options. The Auckland 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.”


Public feedback


Listening to what you have to say is important to us. Your local knowledge can help us make better decisions, so together we can achieve the best outcomes for your neighbourhood.

Feedback closed Friday, 7 May 2021.

Next steps

Your feedback will be analysed and a public feedback report will be made available so we can share with the community what people have told us as part of this consultation. We will use the feedback to help refine the design as we move towards construction. Dates of construction will be announced in the coming months.


Original proposal - August 2017

Read more information about the original proposal Route 4: Great North Road.


For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport