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Project to plan Manukau / Auckland City transport

Media release
6 July 2005

New project to plan Manukau / Auckland City transport improvements

Manukau City Council is to work with Auckland City Council on plans to improve transport connections between the two cities in order to deal with constant population growth and traffic congestion. The proposed title of the project is the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI).

The joint project also involves Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) which will lead the public transport planning, Transit NZ and Land Transport NZ (LTNZ).

The focus will be on upgrades for transport options in the Pakuranga/ Glen Innes/ Panmure area. The project begins a preliminary phase in September, which is expected to last six months. It will not include plans for a motorway through Auckland City from Glen Innes to the central business district.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says the Eastern Corridor project as widely publicised last year has been abandoned but the pressures which prompted that proposal have not gone away, and solutions are required.

“This project is a pragmatic response to constant growth. We will have a crisis on our hands if we do nothing. The region’s population continues to grow by 30,000 per year, and those people must be provided for. Every day there are more and more cars, vans and trucks criss-crossing the region’s road network, servicing both businesses and individuals.

“Manukau is the fastest growing city in New Zealand and the population rises by 10,000 per year. A major connection point between the two cities is the Pakuranga/ Panmure area, and it’s already a bottleneck. Clearly, the planning must be coordinated and involve both councils because the movement of people and traffic flows right across the territorial boundaries of the two cities.”

Sir Barry says it is early days yet and no final decisions have been made.

“New and better roads are required as well as more public transport, better traffic management and measures to control traffic flow and density, such as car pooling and priority bus lanes. I also believe that the region needs to consider the introduction of tolls.

“For Manukau, dealing with the pressures around the Pakuranga Town Centre will be the most urgent priority, along with the Gossamer Drive/ Ti Rakau Drive intersection.

“However the whole geographical area where Manukau and Auckland City meet is growing fast and the amount of traffic is set to explode. The current transport network simply can’t cope. Delays are too long already and the amount of traffic movements in and around this area is set to rocket.”

The area contains a cluster of high growth nodes including:

- East Tamaki and Botany, which will continue to expand fast;
- Waiouru Peninsula where 15,000 people will be employed at a new business park within ten years
- Sylvia Park shopping and office development at Mt Wellington;
- Glen Innes and Panmure, which are designated urban intensification areas;
- Mt Wellington Quarry, where ten thousand people will be living within a decade;
- Tamaki campus of Auckland University, where student numbers are expected to double.

Sir Barry says all these areas will need to have adequate transport connections. “In the aftermath of the local body elections last October there was a hiatus in planning for transport improvements, but I am pleased that preparations will soon be back on track.”

Ends

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