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Bus lane colouring in black and white

17 June 2004

Bus lane colouring in black and white

Auckland City Council is seeking more judicious use of colouring for bus lanes across the region as it continues to implement bus lanes throughout the city.

“We are strongly committed to bus lanes and will continue to be,” says Councillor Greg McKeown, Transport Committee chairperson. “We have worked to introduce more bus lanes on the city’s arterial network, including the recently completed lanes on Sandringham Road and the New North Road lanes to be implemented in July. We also have plans for bus lanes on Queen, Albert and Symonds streets, Mayoral Drive and Anzac Avenue - key CBD streets.”

When Auckland City introduced the region’s first bus lanes, the lanes were coloured to:
- educate drivers in a bid to minimise illegal use of the lanes
- promote the efficiencies of travelling by bus
- illustrate the permanence of the bus lanes
- demonstrate the council’s commitment to the priority measures

“Initially, colouring of bus lanes was used to raise awareness, encouraging drivers to follow the lane’s rules,” says Mr McKeown. “Our experience indicates that drivers are more aware today about the importance of staying out of bus lanes, and in many situations bus lane enforcement alone is now sufficient in deterring the illegal use of the lanes.

“The council’s ability to enforce the bus lanes using cameras is an excellent tool, superseding the need to colour. For example, Mt Eden Road’s bus lane [south of Balmoral Road] has remained uncoloured for the past two years and is functioning effectively.
“The use of new enforcement measures combined with heightened driver awareness reduces the need for colouring,” says Mr McKeown.

On going costs also need to be considered when reviewing colouring of bus lanes, with the treatment’s life lasting between four and five years.

“Not colouring our streets will improve how they look and lower overall road marking costs,” says Mr McKeown. “Colouring bus lanes across the city would become more and more expensive. For example, maintaining the coloured treatment on Dominion Road, a total length just over 6km, costs approximately $75,000 per year at current rates.”

Auckland City concedes there may be a requirement for bus lane colouring in limited circumstances, such as intersections. This is to be addressed in the development of a regional standard.

A draft regional standard for the treatment of bus lanes will be presented to Auckland City’s Transport Committee in August for consideration.

Auckland City will continue to monitor and enforce the city’s bus lanes independent of any regional colouring decision.


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