Auckland Transport

Upper Harbour Drive walking & cycling improvementsUpper Harbour Drive

The Upper Harbour Drive walking and cycling project will provide an on-road cycleway on both sides of Upper Harbour Drive, and a continuous footpath on the north-western side of Upper Harbour Drive between Albany Highway and Tauhinu Road, with a link to the Upper Harbour Motorway.


Project status: Design
Project area: North


Project purpose

The project aims to create a safe and efficient road environment for all road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians. The provision of a dedicated cycle lane on both sides is designed to make cycling an attractive, easy, and safe option for transport and recreation for communities around Upper Harbour Drive.

Improvements include the upgrade of various sections of the road, incorporating a buffer zone that will separate the cycle lanes from the traffic lanes. On-road parking will also be removed and, where feasible, additional pedestrian crossings will be provided near bus stops to improve safety and accessibility.

When completed, the cycleway will connect with similar facilities being developed along Albany Highway and connect to the existing shared use path on Tauhinu Road which links to the Upper Harbour Bridge and West Auckland. The project is part of a larger initiative by Auckland Transport to upgrade the regional cycle network.

Features and benefits

  • On-road cycle facilities with buffer zones will safely cater for both experienced cyclists and those less comfortable with riding on the road. It is expected that this route will be popular with both commuter and recreational cyclists
  • A continuous footpath facility along the north-western side of Upper Harbour Drive, providing a safe and accessible walkway for pedestrians & children on bikes
  • The existing footpath on the south-eastern side of Upper Harbour Drive will be maintained
  • Pedestrian crossings in close proximity to bus stop facilities will make crossing the road safer
  • An integrated transport system between pedestrians, cyclist and public transport
  • No land purchases required.

Design options

As part of the options evaluation, Auckland Transport has assessed the following options:

  • Cycle lane on both sides; footpath on one side (preferred option);
  • Cycle lane and footpath on both sides;
  • Shared-use path on one side; cycle lane on other side;
  • Shared-use path on both sides;
  • Shared-use path on one side; cycle lane on both sides.

The options evaluation sought to identify the most effective road layout to accommodate all road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists, along Upper Harbour Drive. From this evaluation that considered multiple factors, the first option was identified as the preferred option.


Answers to common questions

Why are you introducing a footpath and cycle lanes?

The Upper Harbour Drive Walking and Cycling scheme will improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists by providing a continuous footpath on the north western side of Upper Harbour Drive and a dedicated cycle lane on both sides of the road.

The dedicated cycle lane on both sides will provide a link between the existing cycle facilities along Albany Highway and Upper Harbour Drive Bridge. The high operating speeds along Upper Harbour Drive means that we are required to install at least 1.9m wide cycle lanes or 1.5m wide cycle lanes combined with a 0.5m wide buffer zone. This is to provide added side clearance to protect cyclists from vehicles. Given that Upper Harbour Drive has been identified in the Auckland Cycle Network as a cycle metro, some element of separation from motor traffic is required. Therefore a 1.5m wide cycle lane with a 0.5m buffer zone has been proposed.

If cycling is made safer, it could result in an uptake of cycling which can help towards reducing congestion, meaning faster travel times.

How many cyclists use Upper Harbour Drive?

A survey conducted on 6 March 2013 by URS showed 77 cyclists used Upper Harbour Drive on that day. This number is anticipated to increase once the cycle lane is built. A higher number use this route in the weekends.

Why are we losing parking space?

The road carriageway is too narrow to maintain the current layout with the addition of new cycle facilities. There is not enough space to accommodate two traffic lanes, a central median, cycle lanes on both sides, and on-street parking without widening the road.

How much parking are we losing?

The only loss in parking will occur around Dene Court Lane given that much of Upper Harbour Drive is already a no parking area.

Why not remove the central median to give space for cycle lanes?

The central median is required to accommodate right turning vehicles and as a refuge for crossing pedestrians.  Removing the median will make the right turning manoeuvre less safe and will make it harder for pedestrians to cross Upper Harbour Drive safely.

What are parking mitigation measures?

Currently there are no parking mitigation measures in place because parking is already limited along Upper Harbour Drive with only a small section of on road parking available around Dene Court Lane. 

Will compensation be available?

Compensation will not be available because parking is already limited along much of Upper Harbour Drive, and free parking is available in the side streets.


For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport