Auckland Transport must consult prior to proposed T2/Bus Lanes on Pakuranga Road
Auckland Transport’s plan to introduce a T2/Bus lane on Pakuranga Road between Highland Park and Ti Rakau Drive requires consultation with the Pakuranga and Howick communities who rely on Pakuranga Road, say elected members representing Howick and Pakuranga.
Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown alongside Howick Councillors Paul Young and Sharon Stewart, and Howick Local Board Chairman David Collings, have joined together to raise concerns about the proposal that would turn a westbound lane on Pakuranga Road into an “interim” T2/Bus lane for the duration of the AMETI/Eastern Busway construction.
“The AMETI/Eastern Busway is a necessary piece of infrastructure for East Auckland and everyone knows there will be construction delays caused by this project, but punishing motorists by reducing the number of lanes along Pakuranga Road will not solve this problem.
“While a T2/Bus lane will encourage more usage of public transport and ride sharing, which will reduce the number of cars during construction of the AMETI/Eastern Busway, Pakuranga Road is one of the busiest roads in the country carrying approximately 50,000 vehicles per day. More thought is required prior to making such a dramatic change to this road.
“If Pakuranga Road was a State Highway, it would be the 4th busiest State Highway in the country. Any changes to this road must be carefully thought through and consulted on.
“In particular, traffic turning off Pakuranga Road and onto major arterial routes such as Gossamer Drive, Cascades Road, and Ti Rakau Drive will have to compete with traffic driving down Pakuranga Road on the T2/Bus Lane, causing major inconvenience due to competing traffic flows.
“With the next stages of the AMETI project due to begin construction in March, we are calling on Auckland Transport to consult thoroughly with the East Auckland community. We are also asking them to focus on other solutions to alleviate the delays caused during the construction phase of the AMETI/Eastern Busway, such as a suggested Park & Ride at Lloyd Elsmore Park with shuttle buses to Panmure Station.
“We are supportive of Auckland Transports efforts to increase public transport use, and to provide dedicated express buses from Howick and Lloyd Elsmore Park to Panmure Train Station. Both of these solutions will reduce the number of motorists who drive to Panmure Station to catch the Train into the City.
“However, punishing everyday motorists who work all over Auckland will only make life more difficult for the tens of thousands of East Aucklanders who rely on Pakuranga Road for a safe and reliable commute to work.
“Transit lanes should ideally be built in addition to existing infrastructure rather than taking lanes away from motorists, which is precisely what the AMETI project will do in the areas that it is built.
“Auckland Transport has confirmed that they do not intend to consult with the community on these changes as they consider the changes “interim” while the construction of AMETI takes place. They are yet to even brief the Howick Local Board, which should always be informed of major changes like this.
“With AMETI expected to take upwards of 7 years to complete, we know that these changes will be anything but ‘interim’. Auckland Transport should abandon this top-down approach and consult with the communities affected by these proposals.”