Buses Take Priority On Great North Road
Putting buses first was once again high on the agenda at yesterday’s meeting of the Council’s Transport & Roading Committee.
The Committee approved a Buses First! proposal to extend bus lanes along almost the entire length of Great North Road. At nearly 9km, the lanes will be the longest in New Zealand.
Great North Road is one of the city’s busiest bus routes, with around 500 buses using it each day. Limited bus priority measures already operate at the St Lukes Road intersection and on the approaches to Grey Lynn and Pt Chevalier shops.
The proposed extension will see bus lanes running in both directions from east of Pt. Chevalier shops to St Lukes Road, Western Springs to Bond Street (excluding Grey Lynn shops) and from Bond Street to Ponsonby Road. The lanes will operate between 7-9am for city bound buses, and 4-6pm for outbound buses. As with other bus lanes, parking will be prohibited during the hours of operation, though due to the width of the road, some areas will retain all day parking.
The Committee heard that, following extensive public consultation which first started about three years ago, the proposed bus priority measures received strong support, with 83% of submissions in favour of the scheme.
Councillor Catherine Harland, Chairwoman of the Transport & Roading Committee, says the Great North Road bus lane is just one of the public transport improvements the Council is implementing as it works toward a vision of city with an integrated network of travel choices.
“The Great North Road proposal is an important step forward, particularly as it is already so heavily used by buses. It is not an isolated step but part of a balanced transport approach,” says Cr Harland.
“Buses First aims to introduce bus priority measures, to all major public transport routes and we are slowly building toward a web-like network of priority streets across our city. So far the streets included are Fanshawe, Great South, Sandringham, Mt Eden and Dominion Roads and more will come in the future.”
“It’s part of Council’s commitment to making a visible difference to passenger transport on-the-ground and encouraging other city’s in the region to follow our lead.”
Further bus priority measures on Great North Road will include a short ‘bus advance’ traffic lane and bus only ‘B’ traffic light phase, at the intersection of Great North Road Pt/Chevalier Road and Great North Road/Surrey Crescent.
The proposal also considers pedestrian safety. Additional signalised pedestrian crossings will be installed on Chinaman’s Hill, Grey Lynn, and near Premier Avenue in Pt Chevalier.
Installation of the bus lanes and other bus priority measures is expected to take place in July.