Green light for new Central Transport Corridor
Green light for new Central Transport Corridor - Passenger Transport Boost in Auckland City
The preferred route to speed bus passengers between Britomart, the University of Auckland, AUT, Auckland Hospital and Newmarket has been identified, and may mean that Grafton Bridge may be closed to normal car traffic, or the building of a parallel second bridge.
The new Central Transport Corridor (CTC) route, incorporating dedicated bus lanes, priority traffic signalling and a significant investment in stops, will take a route from Britomart along Customs Street, Anzac Avenue, Symonds Street, Grafton Bridge, Park Road, Mountain Road, and down Khyber Pass to Newmarket.
The purpose of the central corridor is to connect Britomart with Newmarket, while best servicing the key passenger pick-up points along the way.
The council’s Transport Committee today supported the proposal and agreed that planning, design and land acquisition for the route should start. The committee also endorsed a recommendation that work continue on second phase options to develop alternatives to the Khyber Pass route which would link more directly to new train station facilities at Newmarket.
The bus route will comprise both kerbside bus lanes where possible, and other bus priority measures to ensure a consistent and high frequency service. Sections of Symonds Street may be widened to provide two dedicated lanes to be shared by buses and cyclists.
The Transport Committee chair, Councillor Greg McKeown, said that improving passenger transport in the central city was a challenging task, but his committee had a “bias for action” which would take Auckland city transport forward, in both a CBD and regional context.
“We have taken many factors into consideration, including the region’s rapid transit plans, rapid CBD and Newmarket growth, providing better passenger transport service to Auckland University, AUT and Auckland Hospital, and improving bus services on the isthmus,” said Mr McKeown.
The council was also now looking at improved services on the west side of the City, along and around Albert Street, and supports electric bus services in Queen Street.
The committee will consider
several options for Grafton Bridge at a later meeting,
including the possibility of closing the bridge to cars and
an alternative to build a parallel second bridge. A further
report will provide more detail on these options and will
address important heritage issues, emergency vehicle access
to Auckland Hospital, and the strengthening work that will
soon be due on the current bridge.