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Auckland Transport

Ian McKinnon Drive cycleway Ian McKinnon Drive cycleway

Ian McKinnon cycleway will connect the Northwestern cycleway and Dominion Road cycle lanes to the Grafton Gully cycleway, Te Ara I Whiti – Lightpath, and Nelson Street cycleway.

Project status: Complete.
Project zone: Central.

Project overview

The project created a dedicated cycleway from the end of the Northwestern cycleway through Suffolk Reserve and along Ian McKinnon Drive to Upper Queen Street.

Before this project was completed, the Northwestern cycleway finished near Newton Road and people on bikes needed to do a big loop or cross at the traffic signals at Newton Road to access Ian McKinnon Drive. This loop was indirect and time consuming.

To use the existing shared path on Ian McKinnon Drive, people on bikes coming from the Northwestern cycleway needed to cross this wide, busy road.

There were often conflicts between pedestrians and people on bikes using the existing shared path on Ian McKinnon Drive. The old shared path on Ian McKinnon Drive varied in width, has a poor quality surface in some sections, and has some steep sections.

Map showing location of cycleway and cycle lanes

Map showing location of cycleway and cycle lanes


  • Save around 2.5 minutes for people on bikes.
  • Cyclists and pedestrians don’t need to wait at the lights at Upper Queen Street and Ian McKinnon Drive.
  • A greater length of the path will be separated from vehicle traffic on Ian McKinnon Drive.

The Ian McKinnon Cycleway is part of AT's cycling and walking programme.


  • August 2016 - Feedback on proposed options and design.
  • December 2016 - Feedback report.
  • September 2017 - Detailed design - complete.
  • November 2017 - Tenders sought.
  • December 2017 - Contractor appointed. 
  • Late February 2018 - Construction starts.
  • Late November 2018 - Construction expected to be completed.

Project details

The cycleway has been divided into 2 sections:

Section 1: Suffolk Reserve

Artist's impression of Suffolk Reserve with the Ian McKinnon cycleway

The first section of the cycleway goes through Suffolk Reserve from Takau Street, joining the western edge of Ian McKinnon Drive under the Newton Road Bridge.

This section of the cycleway is approximately 200m long and is proposed to be 4m wide concrete path.

The proposed route has been selected to minimise the impact on surrounding properties and vegetation, while avoiding the steepest parts of the hill.

Section 2: Ian McKinnon Drive

This section covers Ian McKinnon Drive, starting near Newton Road Bridge and finishing at Upper Queen Street.

Ian Mckinnon view

Diagram showing the current layout of Ian McKinnon Drive

Diagram showing the current layout of Ian McKinnon Drive 

Final layout of Ian McKinnon Drive

After reviewing the options and feedback received we have created the detailed design for what was originally presented as one of the two options that were first presented. The final design involves constructing a new 4 metre wide two-way cycleway on the western side of Ian McKinnon Drive. The lower (southern) half of the cycleway will use the motorway maintenance road.

The upper half will use one of the existing city bound traffic lanes, but to ensure there are still 2 traffic lanes in this direction, one of the west bound traffic lanes will be removed. 

Key features

  • Upper Ian McKinnon Drive – a 4m wide two-way cycleway with a 0.6m wide raised island providing separation from the traffic lane (similar to Beach Road).
  • One westbound traffic lane along upper Ian McKinnon Drive. Traffic modelling shows the impacts on traffic flow of losing this land will be minor.
  • Two city bound traffic lanes.
  • Lower Ian McKinnon Drive – a 4m wide two-way cycleway with a 3m wide grass verge providing separation from the traffic lane.
  • All 4 traffic lanes will be retained along lower Ian McKinnon Drive.
  • No change to the existing kerb line and shared path on the eastern side of Ian McKinnon Drive.

Diagrams showing the final layout of Ian McKinnon looking towards Upper Queen Street

Upper Ian McKinnon

Upper Ian McKinnon Drive

Lower Ian McKinnon

Lower Ian McKinnon Drive

Advantages of the chosen design

The final layout replaces one westbound traffic lane along upper Ian McKinnon Drive.

  • Creates a dedicated cycleway separated from general traffic.
  • Large separation (3m) between cycleway and general traffic on Lower Ian McKinnon Drive.
  • Retains 4 traffic lanes along Lower Ian McKinnon Drive.
  • Construction costs are within project budgets (medium).
  • Removes one west bound traffic lane from Upper Ian McKinnon Drive. Traffic modelling shows the impacts on traffic flow will be minor.
  • The cycleway and road layout will need to be changed if light rail is implemented.
  • One eastbound (city bound) traffic lane on Ian McKinnon Drive will become the cycle path.
  • The remaining three lanes will be reconfigured to retain two eastbound lanes and one westbound.

Future-proofing for light rail

With the change in Government the Light Rail project is expected to become a priority. 

At this stage, we are awaiting the Minister of Transport's requirements for the Light Rail project to establish to what extent it any, and how this project can be future proofed for light rail.

Public engagement

From 1 to 29 August 2016. we sought feedback to help us improve the cycleway design and select a preferred cycleway option before we progress to the detailed design stage of the project.

Feedback summary

In total, we received 298 feedback submissions:

  • 66 hardcopy feedback forms.
  • 230 through the online survey.
  • 2 pin-drops on the online map.

We proposed two alternative routes for the Ian McKinnon Drive section, and asked submitters to rank their support for each of these. Both options include a dedicated cycleway along the northern side of Ian McKinnon Drive.

Read the feedback report

Download the public feedback and decisions report (PDF 2.26MB)

Decision and changes

Results of the feedback received on the proposal:

  • We have chosen what had been previously offered as Option B and added minor modifications to further reflect stakeholder opinion to become the route for the cycle path.
  • The cycle path will replace one west-bound traffic lane along upper Ian McKinnon Drive and the lower southern half of the cycleway will use the motorway maintenance road.
  • We have increased the width of the cycle path through Suffolk Reserve from 3 metres to 4 metres and reduced the proposed width of the vehicle traffic lanes on upper Ian McKinnon Drive accordingly.

For more information

Contact Auckland Transport

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