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Transport progress across the region

Transport progress across the region

29 October 2006

The Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) annual report 2005/06 shows significant progress being made across the region in improving all transport modes.

Cr Joel Cayford, Chair of the Regional Land Transport Committee, says the report shows that the substantial increase in transport spending is beginning to pay off, with the continued development of high quality transport networks and public transport services.

“The report provides a thorough analysis of each transport project in the region, assessing the progress being made in road, rail, bus, ferry, cycling and walking provision.

“The Northern Busway is already taking 200 cars off the road at morning peak hour, and the increased number of rail users is the equivalent of taking around 700 cars off the road each weekday morning.

“It is also pleasing to note that despite the continued population growth of the region, the average level of congestion for the region as a whole is not getting worse.”

The Land Transport Act requires regional councils to report on progress each year in implementing regional land transport strategies.
Highlights of the Auckland region annual report include:

- Transit New Zealand’s construction of the Northern Busway is well advanced, with the first two of five stations open, plus park-and-ride facilities.
- ARTA’s new Northern Express bus service between Albany and the CBD has delivered an average 50,000 trips per month

- Significantly increased rail patronage, with trains carrying a record five million passengers, an increase of 32.5% on the previous year
- Significant progress on upgrading rail stations and rolling stock additions and refurbishment
- ARTA’s Walking School Bus programme is already achieving over 20 per cent of its 10-year target of 12,600 fewer car trips to schools.

Notes

The full RLTS report will be posted on the ARC website and will also be available in print. Key highlights from the report include:
‘Progress In Achieving RLTS Objectives – Headline Indicators’

- Traffic Congestion: The daily average congestion level is 0.49 minutes per km. Morning peak times were the largest contributor, with an average of 0.72 minutes of delay per km. Results from the last three years indicate that while congestion levels are not improving significantly, they are also not getting worse.

- Road Safety: Deaths and casualties from transport related incidents were 77 and 4,150 respectively, a decrease on last year’s 93 deaths, and about the same as last year’s 4,146 injuries. Speed and alcohol related crashes were the largest contributors to deaths, and most casualties occurred at intersections.

- Air Quality: The air quality measure was exceeded 84 times this year, up from 60 last year.

- Passenger Transport Patronage: 51 million trips were taken on public transport, 431,000 more trips than the previous year. A slight decline in bus patronage was offset by growth in ferry (2.1%) and rail patronage (32.5%).
‘Increase The Capacity Of The Transport Network’
A) Progress continues on key state highway projects:

- Transit’s SH1 Northern Motorway Extension from Orewa to Puhoi (Alpurt B2) – construction is on target for completion in May 2009.

- Transit’s Western Ring Route projects:
o SH 18 Upper Harbour Motorway Greenhithe Deviation: construction expected to be completed in July 07.
o SH 18 Upper Harbour Motorway Hobsonville Deviation: property purchase progressing well and designation confirmed.
o SH20 Southwestern Motorway Waterview Connection (Avondale Extension to Northwestern Motorway). Preferred option confirmed for further consultation (the “AW1” option connecting from Maioro Street to Waterview Interchange). Following consultation, further investigation underway on undergrounding.
o SH20 Manukau Extension of the Southwestern Motorway to SH1. Funding allocated in June 2004 and construction contract awarded in July 2006. Detailed design underway for start on earthworks during the coming season. Construction anticipated to be completed in late 2010.
o SH20 Manukau Harbour Bridge Duplication - Notice of requirement and resource consents lodged and joint Council hearing anticipated early 2007.
o Western Ring Route projects are subject to Aucklanders support for tolling.

- SH1 and SH16 Central Motorway Junction (CMJ):
o Stage 1 completed including an additional lane, from Hobson Street on-ramp to Gillies Avenue off-ramp.
o Construction of CMJ Stage 2 due for completion this December. On completion, the project will have created six new motorway to motorway links, new on and off ramps, motorway widening and an additional lane from Newton Rd to Western Springs on SH16.

- Newmarket Viaduct widening and upgrade: Notice of requirement and resource consents lodged in November 2005.
- Victoria Park Tunnel - Five notices of requirement for new designation or alteration to the existing designation were lodged with Auckland City in October 2005. Resource consents lodged with ARC in March 2006.
- Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing: Strategic study approved by Transit New Zealand board as a high priority. Transit appointing consultants to oversee investigations of route options.
- Travel Demand Management – A comprehensive programme to better manage traffic flows on the motorways and arterial roads, involving the installation of 61 ramp signals on the Southern, Northwestern and Northwestern motorways is being installed. The first four ramp signals – in Papakura, Takanini and the Central Motorway Junction – will go live in November and December.

B) Progress continues in Passenger Transport including:
 Central Transit Corridor (CTC) - Route has been confirmed and design almost completed. Consent applications have been lodged for the works. Construction target start date is early 2007.
 Rail Upgrade: Construction commenced on the next stage of the Western line double tracking project between Henderson and New Lynn in late 2005. Work was concentrated at the Waitakere City Council civic centre development at Henderson station.

 Northern Busway:
o In early 2005/06, the final stage of the Busway Stage 1 works was incorporated into the ongoing Esmonde Interchange and busway contract. Expected construction completion December 2007.
o Bus station and park-and-ride facilities at Albany and Constellation Drive were opened in November 2005.
o ARTA introduced the Northern Express bus service from Albany to Britomart.
 Ferry terminals: Ownership of ferry terminals on the Waitemata Harbour was transferred from Ports of Auckland to ARTA, and improvements to facilities continued.
Key progress in each RLTS policy area includes:
‘Make Best Use Of The Existing Transport System’
 Rollout of signal pre-emption and real time passenger information: a further 150 buses have been fitted with GPS tracking (less than 50 buses in the region remain to be fitted).
 ARTA has developed a draft concept design for a full ‘smart card’ based region-wide integrated ticketing scheme and is working with operators on implementation options.
‘Manage Travel Demand’
 During 2005/06, ARTA developed a Draft Sustainable Transport Plan, a 10-year implementation plan to achieve RLTS targets. Walking and cycling action plans have identified walking and cycling investment priorities.
 The ARTA school travel programme was taking 2,600 car trips off the road each morning, achieving over 20 per cent of the 10-year RLTS target of 12,600 fewer car trips to school.
 More than 3,000 children at 87 schools walked each day on 180 walking school buses.
 100 schools had developed or were developing School Travel Plans.
 Workplace Travel Plans: 55,000 employees and students at over 20 workplaces and tertiary institutes were participating in workplace travel plans.

ENDS.

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