We want to connect communities, improve safety, improve transport options, and develop thriving town centres on the route from Anzac Avenue in the city, Symonds Street, and along New North Road to Avondale.
Project status: Consultation - first stage of feedback closed 10 March 2021.
Project zone: Central
The route from Anzac Avenue in the city, along Symonds Street and New North Road to Avondale connects West Auckland to the City Centre, through many of our central and western suburbs.
We have identified some key issues on this route that we want to work with you to fix. These issues include safety, poor bus reliability, lack of separated cycle lanes and quiet town centres. Over the coming years we're likely to see significant population growth along this route and demand for safe and efficient transport will increase.
The changes we make will fit in with other projects such as City Rail Link (CRL), Urban Cycleway Programme and our 10-Year Programme. While these upgrades are planned for future years, we want to work with our local communities now to find solutions.
We want to make sure the upgrades are completed to fit in with future developments such as City Rail Link and events such as the Women’s Football World Cup in 2023.
Connecting our communities
This project has been set up to future connect Auckland's transport network in a more safe, sustainable, and efficient way. This transformation will help us offer Aucklanders more travel options.
As Auckland's population increases and more people join the road network, we must find ways to make it safer and easier for people to move around the region.
We need to get the most out of our transport network and believe our communities have important knowledge that we can use to help improve our regions transport.
- Improved safety by reducing deaths and serious injuries.
- Better cycling facilities so it's safer and easier for people on bikes.
- Improved bus reliability and public transport connections.
- Supporting thriving town centres.
- 2 February 2021 - Feedback opened.
- 10 March 2021 - Feedback closed.
- Mid 2021 - Begin co-design improvements with key stakeholders and the community.
- Late 2021 - Develop solutions based on initial feedback from people and investigation by AT staff.
- 2022 - Preferred option(s) identified, and consents obtained.
- 2023 – Construction completed in sections.
We are looking to improve safety, public transport, walking, cycling and other active modes on New North Road, Symonds Street, including Anzac Avenue, Morningside Drive, St Lukes Road (from Morningside Drive to New North Road) and Rosebank Road (from Blockhouse Bay Road to Avondale Road).
New North Road provides connections to key locations, such as the universities, Eden Park and the business and retail focused area of Kingsland, Morningside, St Lukes, Mt Albert and Avondale.
What is Connected Communities
The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) and the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) have identified a series of required investments, upgrading key arterial roads, improving transport options and improving the overall public urban realm and street environment. To consolidate these inter-related and dependent projects, Connected Communities was established, with the aim to combine the following pieces of work under a single network approach:
- Bus Priority Programme – whole of route improvements to support the New Network,
Safety programmes – including overall safety improvements in urban corridors, speed management and targeted safety improvements,
- Walking and cycling programme – development of a network approach to help to implement area wide improvements, initially for the City Centre and Isthmus, with later stages for the other key communities,
- Network performance – optimising the network to enhance efficiency and safety of corridors.
Connected Communities will seek to improve public transport, active transport, the urban realm and above all, safety under a single banner, instead of in isolation. This allows Auckland Transport to develop a network which is safe and functions effectively, serving multiple modes along each arterial route.
Key focuses include:
- Making public transport, walking and cycling more attractive to Aucklanders.
- Create safer, healthier streets for everyone.
- Upgrade the corridor to accommodate growing transport demands for access to Auckland’s
- City Centre through improvements to road safety, bus reliability, cycle and walking infrastructures.
The New North Road and Symonds Street upgrades project is part of the wider Connected Communities programme. The corridor improvements will deliver on the Vision Zero, ATAP, RLTP and the Cycling Programme Business Case.
New North Road
The corridor is approximately 11km long and lies within the Waitematā and Albert-Eden local board areas.
It plays a key role in connecting the western and central isthmus suburbs to Auckland’s city centre. New North Road forms part of the frequent bus network, enables access to the western rail line and provides a walking, cycling and vehicle connection over the motorway interchange to the city centre and Learning Quarter. Below are the reasons New North Road and Symonds Street is in need of upgrades. This project is aimed at tackling these issues.
Safety risks along New North Road
Auckland Transport has adopted the Vision Zero approach to road safety where no death or serious injury on the transport network is acceptable.
On New North Road, crashes involving general vehicles are mainly around intersections with red light running (not stopping at red traffic lights), failure to stop and give way and poor choices being common crash causes. Many high-risk intersections along the New North Road corridor also have slip lanes allowing ‘free’ turns to general vehicles, increasing the risk to vulnerable road users in these locations. Vulnerable road users are people walking or cycling, or people who are not in vehicles.
Forty-eight death and serious injury crashes (two fatalities and 43 serious injuries) have occurred along the corridor between 2014-2018.
Approximately 40% of the New North Road corridor is identified as a high-risk corridor based on the 2014-2018 crash history.
Vulnerable road users are disproportionately represented in the corridor’s crash history being involved in over 70% of all serious injuries. All the reported crashes involving vulnerable road users (pedestrians (30%), bicycles (18%) and motorcycles (28%) are clustered around intersections and high activity areas such as local centres.
Prior to the implementation of Speed Limits Bylaw 2019 the entirety of the corridor had a speed limit of 50 km/h. On 30 June 2020, this was reduced on Anzac Avenue and most of Symonds Street. Find out more about the clear link between speeds and outcome of a crash.
Future land use in the area
Future land use along the corridor has been identified based on the Auckland Plan 2050 and Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP(OP)). Based on the Auckland Plan, residential densification (terrace housing and apartments) is expected to occur in locations with good connections to the existing public transport network and near local centres to encourage less vehicle dependent lifestyles. It is anticipated that there will be an extra 80,000 people living close to New North Road by 2041.
The Auckland Plan also identifies that consolidation and expansion of local centres is predicted to happen within the Connected Communities timeframe. As more retail, entertainment and employment opportunities are developed within the central city and in local centres along the corridor (Avondale, Mt Albert, Morningside, Kingsland, Mt Eden), travel demand to these locations is likely to increase.
Most of future employment growth is predicted to occur within or close to the central city whilst most of the land available for future housing is located within the outer isthmus suburbs such as Avondale, Mt Albert and St Lukes.
This will result in increased pressure on the existing public transport network as more people commute from the outer isthmus to the central city for work or study. Additionally, most of these future trips are likely to be undertaken by public transport as the road network nears capacity.
The need for better bus efficiency:
Connected Communities has identified the lack of public transport and active transport prioritisation has contributed to the dependence on private vehicles in Auckland. Narrow footpaths, lack of dedicated bus lanes or fragmented bus lanes, disconnected cycle lanes and a lack of pedestrian crossing points and easy to access bus interchange points have all contributed to this.
Current projections show that by 2028, the predicted bus travel time between Avondale and the City Centre will be 89 minutes.
Approximately 131 buses per hour travel along the busiest section of Symonds Street during peak periods which reduces to 55 buses per hour during off peak periods. Along the section of New North Road to the west of Mt Eden Road, approximately 41 buses per hour at peak times operate along the corridor which reduces to 13 buses per hour during the off peak.
Existing bus priority measures are available on approximately 2,300m of the New North Road corridor with most of this being in the city centre (Anzac Avenue and Symonds Street). The absence of dedicated bus priority on most of the corridor requires buses to share road space with general traffic and can result in buses having a slower and more unreliable journey times due to being stuck in traffic, particularly in locations which experience congestion during peak periods.
Accessing the central city and Symonds Street using existing facilities is currently unattractive due to there being limited connections between the Grafton Gully cycleway and Symonds Street. The connections which do exist are of a steep grade and shared with general traffic.
A key pinch point between Symonds Street and the remainder of the corridor is the Symonds Street motorway bridge and although a shared path exists, this is not up to current Transport Design Manual standard. The alternative, mixing with general traffic is undesirable due to the high volumes of general traffic (of which buses make up a high proportion).
For the remainder of the corridor there are no close by cycle routes with the only exception being the North western cycleway. This is approximately 200m away from the corridor at Kingsland and 1km away from the corridor at Mount Albert. Despite this being close to the corridor, there is currently no safe and attractive cycling facilities connecting New North Road and the North western cycleway.
Only 250 metres of safe cycle infrastructure is available on the entire route.
Cycling to train stations to use multiple different travel options during a journey is also currently unattractive along the New North Road route. Of the five currently open stations (Mt Eden is closed due to CRL redevelopment works) only Kingsland has existing limited bike parking.
The attractiveness of cycling to access employment and education remains low along the New North Road corridor in comparison to other transport modes. Census data shows that more ‘cycle to work trips’ occur with proximity to the city centre and where there is existing cycle infrastructure.
Two of the factors likely to increase the attractiveness of cycle journeys are shortening the length of journey and the availability of attractive cycling lanes. It is expected that the number of cycling journeys will increase with the development of safe and accessible cycle paths along the route.
We want to hear from you about how we can make improvements and help shape our city moving forward.
The first stage of consultation closed on 10 March. We will be analysing the feedback we received as part of this consultation over the coming weeks and publishing a public feedback report on this webpage.
You can still provide feedback by
- Adding comments to our interactive map: