Council delivers options for North Harbour
March 1, 2006
Council delivers options for North Harbour improvements
North Shore City Council, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and Transit New Zealand are considering a range of options to tackle the traffic problems at the North Harbour Industrial Estate.
A report by transport experts - following public consultation on the local transport issues - recommends a number of solutions, including bus/HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes for evening peak commuters, a ride share system, commuter and school shuttle services to park-and-ride stations, and modifications to the road layout.
The options were evaluated according to their potential to reduce congestion, fuel emissions and peak period car travel, and improve access to transport services.
The full list of recommendations will be put to the business community and other interested groups over the coming weeks, with a view to implementing a plan by April.
North Shore City Council's group manager, transport strategy and planning, Archer Davis, says the recommended options are aimed at providing commuters, residents and businesses with a greater range of travel choices to and from the North Harbour Industrial Estate.
"The bottom line is we need to encourage more people to leave their cars at home. To do this requires identifying options or a combination of options that will provide immediate and obvious benefits," says Mr Davis.
The current analysis has drawn on the findings of a comprehensive survey last year of local business, residents and commuters, which attracted 565 responses.
Among the findings were that 98 per cent of people travelled into the area by car, either as a driver or passenger. Eighty-four per cent were sole occupants of the vehicle. Less than one per cent each travelled by bus, cycled or walked. The majority of respondents lived in North Shore City, and many of these lived within 400 metres of a bus route that accessed the North Harbour Industrial Estate.
"We know from the information we have gathered what is most needed to persuade people to change the way they travel by providing greater choices," says Mr Davis.
Other recommendations in the report included the distribution of public transport packs to businesses for new and existing staff, the upgrade of the Upper Harbour Drive pedestrian/cycle underpass, the promotion of web links from business websites to the ARTA's MAXX site for public transport information, and the acceptance of public transport tickets by multiple service providers.
Actions recommended for immediate action include establishing a bus/HOV lane for evening commuter peak traffic on Paul Matthews Rd, establishing and maintaining an area-wide ride share system, upgrading the underpass, and distributing public transport information.