NZ bus lanes


The provision of bus lanes is a major priority in long-term Auckland transport plan

Auckland Transport has set out its public transport plan for the decade ahead, but not all are convinced they have it right.

The 2015-2025 Auckland Regional Land Transport Programme aims to set out a clear pathway on how public transport can be improved and the potential of existing networks maximised.

 Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) convener Cameron Pitches says while he supports most elements of the draft plan – including the introduction of bus lanes – it misses some key points in regard to Auckland’s public bus services.

"We encourage Auckland Transport to continue rolling out bus priority measures, in particular dedicated bus lanes on high frequency parts of the network," he writes in his submission.

"High frequency bus-ways should include a bus-way on the Northwestern motorway, particularly between Waterview and Westgate."

One of CBT’s main objections is to allowing other high occupancy vehicles (HOVs) to use bus lanes.

"We oppose suggestions that bus corridors be made available for HOVs, since they will be forced to navigate around buses which are stopped for the purposes of boarding passengers."

Some of the ideas priorities by Auckland Transport include park and ride systems at appropriate rail, bus and ferry hubs to bolster public transport patronage, with a provision to purchase or lease suitable land when opportunities arise over the next decade.

A particular priority is rail level crossings, safety upgrades and in some cases full redevelopment is required before rail frequencies can be increased.

Public transport patronage is expected to grow to more than 100 million trips a year by 2023 and most of these trips will be made by bus.

Bus journeys are projected to rise from 57 million passenger-journeys currently to around 80 million trips a year.

Bus congestion is expected to become an issue on the current network, with around 500 more buses needed in a decade.

Submissions on the draft plan are now closed and report incorporating aspects of submissions received will be presented to Auckland Council before any decisions are made.

The final plan will be announced prior to the statutory deadline on July 31 this year.

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