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Bus lane campaign for quicker bus travel

2 October 2006

Bus lane campaign for quicker bus travel

Auckland City has launched a positive awareness campaign today thanking motorists who use bus lanes correctly and reminding those who don't to obey the rules.

Independent research commissioned by Auckland City has shown that although most motorists comply with bus lane legislation, a significant number of motorists continue to flout the rules.

In April this year, during a single morning peak period, 1779 cars were observed illegally using bus lanes at 15 sites across the city. More than 400 of these vehicles were in a bus lane on the Main Highway, Ellerslie, on the approach to Great South Road.

The council is raising awareness through bus back advertisements, drive-time radio, and posters and barrier arms in Auckland City ParkRight parking buildings over the next three weeks.

Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson of the Transport and Urban Linkages Committee, says bus lanes are an integral part of the city's transport strategy.

"Bus lanes offer quick, reliable travel for bus passengers, as well as motorcyclists and cyclists, but these benefits are lessened every time a car drives in them illegally," he says.

"This campaign reinforces to motorists the risk of a fine of up to $1000 for using a bus lane illegally."

Mr Simpson says motorists need to make sure they are aware of the rules surrounding bus lane usage.

"Bus lanes operate during peak traffic periods, however motorists should always check the signs as these times vary at different locations due to the frequency of bus services and traffic volumes."

Auckland City has developed over 26km of bus lanes across the city, with the most recent additions in Newmarket, along Khyber Pass and Broadway.

"Over the next few years, we're stepping up our bus lane programme, with more than 14km of new bus priority measures planned for Manukau, Remuera, and Great South roads, as well as Tamaki Drive," says Mr Simpson.

"Bus lanes in strategic corridors of the city such as Dominion Road and those planned as part of the central transit corridor, between Newmarket and Britomart, have been future proofed for the option of being later upgraded to light rail.

"Auckland is growing rapidly and it's critical we ensure the most efficient use of land to convey people and goods across the region.

"The most realistic option today is bus lanes, but we must plan for this mode to be supported in the future by other travel options.

"We are committed to bus lane priority measures to encourage even more Aucklanders out of their cars and on to public transport as a quick, convenient and more sustainable way to get around."

Note to editors:

* Bus lanes prioritise sustainable modes of transport - buses, motorcyclists and cyclists - helping to reduce journey times and can be used on short sections of road to detour a single congestion point.

* When bus lanes are not operational, motorists can use them as regular traffic lanes. Most bus lanes operate during peak traffic periods, however these times differ according to location. Auckland City encourages people to check signage for operational times.

* Motorists needing to gain access to or from property and surrounding streets are entitled to drive in a bus lane for a maximum of 50 metres during operating hours.

* Standard bus lane fines are $150 but can be as much as $1000 if the incident goes to court.

ENDS


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