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Auckland Transport

Nelson Street Cycleway Nelson Street Cycleway

Nelson Street Cycleway will link the Upper Queen Street bridge to Quay Street via a shared path and separated cycle lanes. 

Project status:
Phase 3 - Market Place: Consultation - closed 8 March 2020, last updated 16 July 2020.
Phase 2: Complete.
Phase 1: Complete.

Project zone: Central.

Phase 3: Market Place

Auckland Transport (AT) have proposed a new separated cycleway on Market Place.

Artists impression of the Market Place cycleway.
Artists impression of the Market Place section of the Nelson Street cycleway.

This cycleway will improve access into and around the city centre by connecting people on bikes with the Nelson Street cycleway and to the shared path along the viaduct. This completes the city centre cycling loop where people of all ages and abilities can bike around the city centre, separated from traffic.

AT consulted with the community on this cycleway back in 2017 with most people in support.

Our proposal then also included a separated cycleway along Customs Street West and Lower Hobson Street. These routes will be considered post America’s Cup, subject to budget availability.

The changes proposed include:

  • A two way cycle path on one side of Market Place which will be raised and separated by a kerb
  • Widening the footpath by the new cycleway to 4.3 metres (from 3.5 metres)
  • Changing Market Place to be a one way configuration for vehicles (northbound towards the viaduct only)
  • Removing the car parks on one side of Market Place but replacing them on the other side by creating angled car parking
  • Adding new bike racks and seating areas
  • Adding a new pedestrian and bike crossing upon entry to Market Place (near its intersection with Pakenham Street East). This crossing will require the removal of two trees.
  • Adding a new raised intersection at Market Place/ Customs Street West to encourage safer vehicle speeds.
  • Removing a total of 5 car parks to enable the improvements. This includes 2 on Pakenham Street East, 2 on Market Place, and 1 on Customs Street West.

City centre cycling connections

See a map of how this connects with the city centre cycling network (PDF 246KB)

Image of Cross-section of the Market Place cycleway.
Image: Cross-section of the Market Place cycleway.

Cycleway path connections map.
Image: New cycleway route.

Project objectives

The aim of the project is to give people more safe transport options in and around the city centre.

As Auckland’s population increases and more cars join the road network, we are working on finding ways to make it easier and safer for people to walk and use other active modes of travel like riding bikes and e-scooters. The cycle facilities proposed will connect with the wider cycle network and encourage more children and adults to get on bikes – getting cars off the road.

Updated Nelson Street cycleway plans.
Updated Nelson Street cycleway plans.

Download the updated Nelson Street cycleway plans (PDF 138KB)

Public consultation

We asked for your feedback on the changes proposed to Market Place. Local knowledge is very important to us and your feedback helps to ensure the best outcome as you live, work, shop and play in the area.

Feedback closed 8 March 2020.

Consultation outcome

After considering the public feedback we have decided to progress the project through to implementation once funding becomes available, subject to the following changes:

  • We are investigating options for a temporary cycleway on Market Place, Customs Street West and Lower Hobson Street to provide a full cycleway connection to the Quay Street cycleway before a permanent connection is investigated. This will be subject to funding and we will work closely with stakeholders to design the best outcome.
  • We will use higher separators to separate the cycleway from the road which will better prevent parking on or near the cycleway
  • We have updated the seat locations and type in order not to encourage mid-night gatherings near residential properties.
  • We have updated the number and location of rubbish bins.
  • We are shifting the pedestrian crossing at Market Place/Pakenham Street intersection further north which will mean we can retain the existing two trees.
  • There will be a loss of one additional carpark at the southern end of Market Place due to retaining the two existing trees at entrance to street.
  • There are two other trees on the cycleway side of Market Place that are leaning. These two trees will need to be removed so they don't cause a safety hazard to cyclists however they will be replaced with three trees in the same area.
  • We will provide additional pedestrian and bike crossings at Custom Street West/Market Place intersection.

Read the Nelson Street Cycleway public feedback report (PDF 1.1MB, 44 pages).

Next steps

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on AT and the wider Auckland Council whānau. As a result, Auckland Council is implementing an Emergency Budget which will reduce AT's capital and operating budgets.

This will mean this project is delayed and will no longer be constructed this year as initially planned. We will be in touch with residents and local businesses once we know more about how this project will be impacted by the current budget constraints and when we have clarity around construction timelines. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Project overview

Nelson Street Cycleway will form a crucial part of the cycle network in Auckland, connecting the shared off-road pedestrian and cycling path on Upper Queen Street to the waterfront at Quay Street.

The cycleway is a mixture of shared pedestrian and cycling paths, cycle path and one-way and two-way on-road cycle lanes separated from the general traffic by raised buffer islands.

Phases and milestones

  • Phase 1: Link Cycleway from Upper Queen Street to Nelson Street via Canada Street; new bridge to the old Nelson Street off-ramp. Opened 3 December 2015.
  • Phase 2: Cycleway running on both sides of Nelson Street from Victoria Street West to Fanshawe Street and on Market Place to Pakenham Street East. The phase also includes a cycling facility along Pitt Street between Beresford Square and Hobson Street. Consultation on design closed October 2015. Work completed December 2017.
  • Phase 3: Completing the cycleway and the central city city centre cycling loop via Customs Street West/Market Place to Quay Street. Market Place is being prioritised first, with Customs Street West and Lower Hobson Street connections to be considered post Americas Cup.


  • Links with the Northwestern cycle route, Grafton Gully and the waterfront, creating a walking and cycling spine along the western side of the CBD.
  • Provides a key transport route into and around the city, part of a new network of cycleways planned for the city centre.
  • Helps make urban cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice.
  • Supports increased numbers of people choosing to cycle to the city for work, education or recreation activities (increasingly important due to the major improvements proposed in the city in the coming years).
  • Provides thousands of local residents with better travel options within the city (over the last decade, Auckland's CBD has become one of the most densely populated parts of the country).
  • Suitable for cyclists with a variety of confidence levels.

Find out more about AT's cycling and walking programme.

Phase 1: Upper Queen Street to Nelson Street link and new bridge

Phase 1 links Upper Queen Street to Nelson Street via Canada Street and a new bridge to the old Nelson Street off-ramp. The cycleway continues down the west side of Nelson Street to its intersection with Victoria Street.

The new bridge and off-ramp are exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists.

Phase 1 of the cycleway (including Te Ara i Whiti - the Lightpath) opened on 3 December 2015.

Phase 2: Nelson Street to Market Place and Beresford Square to Hobson Street

Pitt Street/Beresford Square to Hobson Street

Phase 2 comprises of two sections:

  • Nelson Street (from Victoria Street West) to Market Place just after the Pakenham Street East intersection.
  • Pitt Street/Beresford Square to Hobson Street.

Both sections were completed in December 2017. 

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport