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Work begins on new bus shoulder lane to city

Transit Regional Office

Auckland

26 May 2005

Media Release

Work begins on new bus shoulder lane to city

Bus trips into Auckland City from across the Harbour Bridge will be that much quicker when a relatively small but strategically important shoulder lane is added to the existing bus priority lane through St Mary’s Bay in about a month’s time.

Construction started this week on extending the existing 1.3km bus shoulder lane through St Mary's Bay, which presently ends just north of the citybound off-ramp to Fanshawe Street.

The Transit New Zealand project extends the bus shoulder lane by about 270m, along the off-ramp towards the Fanshawe Street/ Beaumont Street intersection. When this is completed, buses will have an unimpeded run in the morning peak along the motorway from the southern end of the Harbour Bridge to Fanshawe Street in the city. The project is due to be completed by the end of June.

As part of the work, an overhead sign gantry for southbound traffic (currently where the existing bus shoulder lane terminates) will have to be relocated further north, towards the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The gantry will be moved to approximately the same point as an existing gantry for northbound traffic.

Transit regional manager, Richard Hancy, says the work is part of Transit’s overall strategy of increasing bus priorities on Auckland’s motorway network.

“Last month we announced the start of work on 1.3km shoulder lanes on the Northwestern Motorway between Great North Road (Waterview) and Rosebank interchanges. These will allow buses to bypass slow moving traffic during peak hours. Then, as part of the upgrading of the Central Motorway Junction, we will be adding a shoulder lane for buses along the motorway from Newton to St Lukes.

Transit is also involved in major work to the north of the Harbour Bridge. This involves upgrading the Esmonde Road interchange and constructing the Northern Busway which will, when completed, run from Albany to Britomart.

“These improvements, together with the already quite extensive bus priorities along the Northwestern Motorway and Northern Motorway, will make bus passenger transport increasingly viable between the city and the suburbs to the north and west of the region,” says Mr Hancy.

ends

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