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Auckland Transport

NX2 Albany to Universities Bus route and service layovers NX2 Albany to Universities Bus route and service layovers

Auckland Transport (AT) are introducing a new Northern Express Service, NX2; a predominantly double decker route from Albany Station to the Universities via Northern Express Busway and Wellesley Street.

We consulted on this proposal 5 June to 26 June and received 71 submissions, which we’ve analysed and collated into a Public Feedback Report


Project status: Consultation
Project zone: Central / North


Project overview

As part of its New Network (NN), Auckland Transport is progressively rolling out a more connected and frequent bus service across the region. On 30 September 2018 we will introduce a new Northern Express Service, NX2; a predominantly double decker route from Albany Station to the Universities via Northern Express Busway and Wellesley Street.

The NX2 will replace both the 881 route from busway stations to the universities, hospital and Newmarket, and the current express services from the East Coast Bays to Mayoral Drive.

The service will run at least every 15 minutes, 7.00am to 7.00pm, seven days a week, with buses every three to four minutes during peak times.

A number of bus layovers and stops are required to ensure the NX2 and other services can travel safely and efficiently along the route. These changes are required to be in place by 1 September 2018 to ensure the NX2 route and service layovers can begin operations from 30 September.

Benefits

  • Regular 15 minute service for commuters and students coming into the city daily.
  • Peak service buses every 3-4 minutes

Timeline

  • 5 June 2018 - Feedback on NX2 Albany to Universities Bus route and service layovers opens.
  • 26 June - Feedback closes and is considered
  • Late July - Public feedback report available.
  • August - changes implemented

The orginal proposal

To enable the required NX2 bus route and service layovers, we proposed to:

  • Remove all car park spaces (approximately 35) and parking meters along the eastern sides of both Wakefield Street and Mayoral Drive, and the Wellesley Street East downhill ramp, to make way for new bus stops and layover spaces for the NX2, Dominion Road, SkyBus and AUT shuttle bus services.
  • Relocate the existing AUT bus stop on Wellesley Street East to Mayoral Drive and replace it with an AT NX2 bus shelter.
  • Remove one loading zone on Wellesley Street West (between Albert/Elliott Streets) to accommodate a bus layover.
  • Replace the two-cab taxi rank currently located outside 56 Wakefield Street with a three-cab taxi rank to be located outside 46 Wakefield Street.

NX2 consulation map - final web

Download detailed plans for the project (PDF 2.7MB)

At a later date, we intend to upgrade the Wellesley Street East to Mayoral Drive intersection to enable buses to make a right-hand turn here as part of the proposed permanent route for the NX2 service.

Interim route

From 30 September 2018 the new NX2 and existing Dominion Road, Skybus, and AUT shuttle bus services will need to commence operations along the interim route shown in the map. For this consultation, it is the city-centre project area that is in scope for proposed changes.

City-bound:

  • Exits Northern Motorway at Fanshawe St
  • Right into Halsey
  • Left into Wellesley St West
  • Right into Queen St
  • Left into Wakefield St
  • Left into Symonds St
  • Terminates at 25 Symonds St

North Shore-bound:

  • Starts on Wellesley St East between Symonds St and Princes St
  • Straight into Wellesley St West
  • Right into Halsey St
  • Left into Fanshawe St
  • Onto Northern Motorway

Permanent route

We will implement a permanent route for the NX2 and wider New Network bus services at a later date. The permanent route will use Mayoral Drive instead of Queen Street between Wellesley and Wakefield Streets.

Further works are required to enable buses to turn right into Mayoral Drive from Wellesley Street East. These works could not be implemented before the 30 September deadline.


Feedback


Feedback on the proposal was open from 5 June to 26 June 2018 and we received 71 submissions. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback.

We have analysed and considered all the feedback to improve our proposal.

Key themes in feedback

The following key themes were identified in the feedback:

  • A range of suggested changes to the NX2 city centre route, including extending it to the hospital and Newmarket or avoiding Wakefield Street by using Wellesley Street or Karangahape Road to connect to Symonds Street (18%, 13 responses).
  • Concerns the proposed Wakefield/Symonds Street intersection pedestrian crossing is unsafe and does not comply with design standards. Most felt the use of fencing to guide pedestrians posed a hazard to all road users (18%, 13 responses).
  • Changes to the North Shore portion of the NX2 route; most wanted Massey University Albany campus and/or Hibiscus Coast station included to make the service more convenient to people who live, work or study north-side (17%, 12 responses).
  • Requests to increase the NX2 service operating hours; start before 7.00am for city-bound travellers, and some requests to continue service after 7.00pm for outbound travellers (10%, 7 responses).
  • Concerns the NX2 route may increase congestion, particularly along Symonds Street; also concerns bus users based on the Hibiscus Coast will revert to driving if the route is inconvenient to them (8%, 6 responses).
  • Concerns from local property owners, occupiers and business owners about the loss of on-street parking, saying it will impact tenant, guest and/or customer access to residences or businesses (7%, 5 responses).
  • 5 respondents (7%) preferred the current pedestrian crossing location at the Wakefield/Symonds Street intersection; believe it is safer than the proposed pedestrian crossing location and design and follows desire lines more closely.
  • Opposition to the proposed removal of the Wellesley Street West loading zone, saying it will cause significant inconvenience to local businesses and service delivery companies who use it 24 hours a day (7%, 5 responses).
  • Requests and suggestions for an alternative nearby loading zone option to support local business and service deliveries companies (7%, 5 responses).
  • Requests and suggestions to relocate the proposed new NX2 bus stop on Wakefield Street (4%, 3 responses).
  • Concerns the NX2 bus service will increase noise and air pollution, affecting residents and local businesses along the route (4%, 3 responses).
  • Requests to relocate the new NX2 bus stop proposed on Wakefield Street; believe this location is not ideal for passengers to walk uphill from or cross safely and may cause ‘platooning’ of buses awaiting use of the stop (4%, 3 responses).
  • 2 respondents (3%) suggested relocating or omitting the bus layover proposed for Wellesley Street West; believe it is not needed with other inner-city layover areas available nearby.

Final decisions

We received many suggestions and comments about specific aspects of the proposal, and as a result we will:

  • Not go ahead with the proposed new NX2 bus shelter build for the starting stop on Wellesley Street East. Due to the heritage status of the nearby building the shelter is subject to heritage design standards and will be implemented as part of future works.
  • Retain the current bus layover location (outside 18-24 Wakefield Street) and place the bus stop in the location originally proposed for the layover relocation (outside 2 Wakefield Street), to mitigate driver visibility concerns.
  • Retain the loading zone on Wellesley Street West (between Albert/Elliott Streets) and implement all other proposed bus layover spaces to support the NX2, Dominion Road, SkyBus and AUT shuttle bus services.
  • Install additional or new signage to clearly signpost bus stops and bus layover spaces, include ‘no idling’ notices for buses occupying the layovers.
  • Keep the existing pedestrian crossing on Wakefield Street, and not proceed with the proposed crossing relocation and design changes.
  • Move the double layover at the southern-most end of Wakefield Street to the western side of the street, to improve visibility leading into the existing pedestrian crossing and help buses track safely to make the left-hand turn into Symonds Street.
  • Introduce road markings instead of the proposed kerb cut-back to help buses track safely into the left-hand turn from Wakefield Street into Symonds Street.
  • Prune instead of removing the 3 trees outside AUT marae (69 Wellesley Street) to enable safe passage of the NX2 double decker buses.

We will also proceed with the car parking removals, AUT bus stop relocation, and the taxi stand enlargement and relocation, as proposed:

  • Remove all car park spaces (approximately 35) and parking meters along the eastern sides of both Wakefield Street and Mayoral Drive, and the Wellesley Street East downhill ramp, to make way for new bus stops and layover spaces for the NX2, Dominion Road, SkyBus and AUT shuttle bus services.
  • Relocate the existing AUT bus stop on Wellesley Street East to Mayoral Drive and replace it with an AT NX2 stop (without the proposed new shelter, as outlined above).
  • Replace the two-cab taxi rank currently located outside 56 Wakefield Street with a three-cab taxi rank to be located

NX2 final design map - final 230718

Download the final construction design plans for this project (PDF 3.7MB, 5 pages)

Feedback report

Download the NX2 Albany to Universities bus route and service layovers Public Feedback Report (PDF 780KB, 34 pages)

Next steps

We plan to begin work in mid-August 2018 to enable the NX2 service to begin operations from late September. The work mostly requires changes to signage and road markings along with some minor road works and tree pruning, and should take two to three weeks to complete. We will aim to minimise the impact of this work and communicate with all affected parties ahead of the start date.


For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport