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Auckland Transport

Northwestern Bus Improvements Northwestern Bus Improvements

The Northwestern Bus Improvements is a joint Auckland Transport (AT) and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency project to deliver a range of short-term bus improvements over the next five years to support growth in the region.

Project status: Detailed Design, consenting and Construction
Project zone: Northwest

Project overview

Following a public consultation in October 2020, detailed designs on the short-term improvements are now being finalised with construction getting underway later this year. You can view the public feedback report here.

Over the next 5 years, the project aims to: 

  • Improve bus connections locally and into the city centre by building new bus stops at Te Atatū and Lincoln Road Interchanges.  
  • Provide a more reliable and quicker bus journey into the city centre, by extending the bus shoulders on the Northwestern Motorway between Westgate and Newton Road – an increase in bus priority from 13km to almost 20km. 
  • These facilities will be used by a new frequent express bus service using the motorway between Westgate, Lincoln Rd, Te Atatu and the city centre. 

The project is being funded in part by the Government to help New Zealand’s economic recovery and create a future pipeline of work. The COVID Response and Recovery Fund has provided $50 million of the $100 million projects to support this work. 

The detailed design and resource consenting process for the new Westgate bus station will be undertaken during the next phase of this project and is expected to begin at the end of the year, with construction starting in 2023.   

For the long-term (beyond 5 years), Waka Kotahi is exploring other public transport improvements that will be able to move even more people efficiently along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16). 

Project benefits

  • The Northwestern bus improvements project will deliver resilient and reliable bus journeys with improved connections locally and into the city centre. 
  • Improved journey times will encourage more people to take the bus, with the flow-on effect of reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.  
  • With new bus stops on Te Atatū and Lincoln Road interchanges, people will have easier access to a bus stop with frequent services within close proximity to where they live or work.  
  • The existing bus shoulders will be extended on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) between Westgate and Newton Road to fill the gaps and provide a more reliable and quicker journey for people taking the bus into the city centre. 

While the Northwestern Bus Improvements will deliver important benefits, they are not a long-term solution and there remains a need to progress towards the delivery of a rapid transit solution in this corridor. Waka Kotahi will lead this work and decisions on the mode, sequencing and project design of the corridor will be made in a way that integrates with other key rapid transit corridors. 

Why these improvements are needed 

The northwest is growing. By 2046, it will have 37,000 new houses, 11,000 new jobs and nearly triple the number of people travelling along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16). 

People living in the northwest have limited options for travelling to work, study and social activities. The lack of bus interchanges and gaps in bus shoulders on SH16 make it difficult to provide an efficient and reliable bus network.  

If bus journeys aren’t improved, congestion will get worse and journeys for motorists and bus passengers will take longer. 

Construction timeline 

Construction will get underway in August 2021 and will occur concurrently across the three worksites:  

  • Te Atatū interchange 
  • Lincoln Road interchange 
  • bus shoulders on the Northwestern Motorway between Westgate and Newton Road 

Work will be staggered over an 18-month construction period to ensure the safety of work crews and the public and to reduce the impact on traffic flow. Once construction is completed express bus services will commence.  

Project details

Improvements proposed over the next five years

Improved Bus Priority

Improved bus priority on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16)

The existing bus shoulders will be extended on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) between Westgate and Newton Road to fill the gaps and provide a more reliable journey for people taking the bus into the city centre.

New bus infrastructure

The bus stops will include weather protected, high-quality shelters. Other features include passenger information displays and CCTV cameras that operate at all times. Good lighting will be provided to enhance safety.  

People can use local feeder buses to get to the new interchange bus stops where they can connect to express services travelling into the city using the extended bus shoulder lanes.  

Locations for park and ride facilities in the northwest will be considered as part of the long-term investigations, in alignment with Auckland Transport’s parking strategy, but will not be delivered as part of the current project. 

Westgate: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure

The detailed design and resource consenting process for the new Westgate bus station will be undertaken during the next phase of this project and is expected to begin at the end of the year, with construction starting in 2023.

Lincoln Road: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure

Lincoln Road Interchange

Te Atatū Road: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure

Te Atatu Road Interchange

Renderings of bus infrastructure

What to expect 

Work will be carefully planned and staggered over the construction period to ensure the safety of work crews, drivers and the community. 

All efforts will be made to minimise disruption; however, people are advised to expect delays and plan ahead.   

All work will be carried out within the existing corridor and no private land is required for work at Lincoln Road, Te Atatū Road and along the SH16 motorway corridor. 

Construction - Lincoln Road   

In preparation for the new bus interchange on Lincoln Road, a new roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Lincoln Road/Selwood Road/The Concourse, designed to accommodate double-decker buses as well as the large trucks which use The Concourse and Selwood Road.  

The work will include installing a central island with a mountable collar, reshaping the existing raised median island on Lincoln Road and constructing new traffic islands on The Concourse and Selwood Road.  

Construction is expected to begin in late early September and may require some full or partial closure of the intersection at times to enable construction activity to occur safely.   

Advance warning of any closure or restrictions will be provided to businesses on The Concourse and Selwood Road and we will work to time any closures to avoid peak traffic periods where possible.  

Construction - Te Atatū Road North –Titoki Street - raised pedestrian crossing (August 2021) 

Construction work will include new kerbs, berms and footpaths to narrow the entry to Titoki Street.  A new raised pedestrian crossing with upgraded lighting and signage will be installed to make it easier and safer for people on foot. 

Titoki Street will be temporarily closed at the intersection with Te Atatū Road to enable the construction of the raised concrete pedestrian crossing,  

When the work is complete, two traffic lanes will still exist, allowing you to drive into and out of Titoki Street at Te Atatū Road. 

At a later stage in the construction programme, the indented bus stop outside 378 and 380 Te Atatū Road will be extended to accommodate two buses with a new bus shelter.

New network for the northwest

Building bus stops at Westgate and the Lincoln Road and Te Atatū motorway interchanges will enable a high-frequency express bus service using the motorway to connect with local feeder services operating to each stop. 

This means we will need to review bus services and routes.  

It may mean having to change buses to get to your destination but with buses running about every 7-8 minutes throughout the whole day on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16), it will mean you can travel more often to more northwest destinations. Buses on the motorway will also have quicker journeys thanks to upgraded and extended bus shoulder lanes. 

In the near future, we will provide more information on the proposed changes to the existing network. 

The proposed improvements to the bus network are detailed in the maps below. 

Current all-day bus network map

The proposed improvements to the bus network are detailed in the maps below.

Current all-day bus network map

Current all day bus network map

Proposed all-day bus network map

Proposed all day bus network map

In 2014, we undertook public engagement on the Public Transport New Network proposals for West Auckland. In 2017, Auckland Transport implemented as many improvements to the bus services as possible with the limited bus infrastructure in place.  

Long-term plans (beyond 5 years) for rapid transit to the Northwest are being investigated by Waka Kotahi, which will build on these short-term improvements.  

Read more information on how we have used the feedback provided during the 2014 network review.

Public feedback

The feedback period for this project closed on this proposal on Sunday 25 October. You can read the feedback report below.  

Feedback report: Download the public feedback report (PDF 1.5MB)

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport

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