Metro priority lanes for Papanui Rd
May 21, 2008
Metro priority lanes for Papanui Rd and Colombo St excellent move
ECan chairman Sir Kerry Burke and Cr Carole Evans, who chairs ECan’s public transport committee, have congratulated the Christchurch City Council on putting in place northern and southern city bus priority lanes. “This is good timing and delivery given the growing popularity of Metro and increasing fuel prices,” said Sir Kerry.
At peak periods, bus lanes will operate along Colombo St and Papanui Rd, in conjunction with a variety of other measures to make bus travel compare for journey times with a private motor car. “Councillors and staff from Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council identified bus priority as necessary to promote public transport in the very first Public Passenger Transport Strategy ten years ago,” said Sir Kerry. “This is a joint document agreed between Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council. To continue to attract new bus users onto Metro, these measures are essential.”
Cr Evans noted that in the last ten years traffic congestion in Christchurch has increased greatly. “As a result, Metro priority and safe options for pedestrians and cyclists have become even more critical. These measures will lead to a more reliable network and reduce the journey time. The transport planners have consulted widely to get solutions which suit the varying needs of each route.”
On both routes, buses will have a separate lane between 7am and 9am on the inbound journey and between 3pm and 6pm on the outbound trip. But outside Thorrington School, Colombo St, and Selwyn House School, Papanui Rd, the bus lanes will operate between 4pm and 6pm to accommodate primary school pupils being picked up. During the restricted hours, cars will not be able to drive or park in the bus lanes which will be shared with cyclists. At all other times cars will be able to park in the bus lanes.
Auckland currently has 15 roads with bus priority measures as well as the recently-opened Northern Bus Way, a bus-only corridor linking the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast to downtown.
“The Colombo St and Papanui Rd initiatives are a fantastic start to a project which includes bus priority on 10 corridors around the city,” Cr Evans said. "The completion of a citywide network of bus priority, together with suburban Metro exchanges and a new central city Metro exchange are crucial components of Greater Christchurch transport planning. Future land development that supports efficient transport, as well as targeted investment in strategic roads and improvements to walking and cycling are also a priority.
“Transit is also working on bus priority on state highways in the north and west of the city. Together these initiatives will help transform Christchurch and make it a better place to live.”