NZ PT planners unite

Effective transport for future housing areas calls for a unified approach from NZ authorities

An effort to plan more effective public transport for Auckland’s future growth has led to collaboration between central and local government for the first time.

New subdivisions in Auckland’s outer north-west and south will see more than 100,000 new houses pop up over the next 10 years and public transport planners want to achieve maximum bus travel times of 45 minutes to employment hubs from these growth areas.

The Auckland Transport Alignment Foundation Report recommends a collaborative approach between Auckland Transport (AT), New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Council to make jobs accessible in under an hour’s travel using public transport, and is now open to public consultation.

Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse says the initiative will see significant new transport infrastructure planned out, to support future urban areas.

"It is important we identify early what is needed so projects can be developed and in place before new housing and businesses go in," he says.

"Getting transport well integrated with the future communities to ensure they are well connected and great places to live will be a priority.

"Making sure jobs are easy for people to get to is also very important."

AT key strategic initiatives project director Theunis van Schalkwyk says while a plan to support Auckland’s expected growth during the next 10 years is already in place, a collaborative approach is required to achieve efficient transport in the long term.

"We are working closely with developers to deliver new transport for special housing areas as they are built, but we also want to know what people think about a menu of transport ideas being considered," he says.

"It is a good opportunity for people to help guide what mix of transport projects need to happen."

NZTA Auckland regional director Ernst Zöllner is confident the collaboration will yield good results by considering the role, and weighing up the benefits, of all modes of transport.

"Improved transport will include a mix of public transport, new or upgraded roads, footpaths and cycleways, upgraded state highways and smarter use of existing infrastructure," he says.

"The plans should give the public confidence that work is underway to provide transport for new housing and allow them to give feedback on the type of transport that future communities want and need.

"The next stage will be to prioritise projects for inclusion in future investment programmes."

Public feedback will be used to develop recommended transport networks that will help inform discussions between the authorities on agreeing to an approach to develop the city’s transport system.

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