Walk It. Wheel It. Across The Auckland Harbour Bridge Next Year
People in Tāmaki Makaurau will have the chance next year to experience the Auckland Harbour Bridge as part of the city’s growing walking and cycling network, Waka Kotahi has confirmed today.
Supported by Auckland Transport and Auckland Council, Waka Kotahi is developing a Walk It. Wheel It. programme of events for Tāmaki Makaurau in 2023, to enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy travelling around the city on foot, bikes, scooters and other wheeled devices.
The three Walk It. Wheel It. events in March 2023 will be free, allowing people to safely cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge on foot or using bikes, scooters or wheel chairs.
The events will be held on Sunday 12, 19 and 26 March (with a rain date of Sunday 2 April) and will run between 8am – 5pm. Sixty thousand Aucklanders will have the chance to take part, with twenty thousand free tickets available per day.
“We’re thrilled to be able to share this exciting news with the people of Tāmaki Makaurau, supporting the Government’s vision to provide real transport choice and create a lower carbon transport system,” says Deb Hume, Waka Kotahi National Manager Multimodal and Innovation.
“Opening our streets up for people to walk, cycle and scoot supports Aotearoa’s transition to a low carbon transport system, helps us keep fit, enjoy the outdoors and be more connected to the neighbourhoods we call home.
“This year Aucklanders have enjoyed using an expanded walking and cycling network, with the opening of the second stage of the Glen Innes to Tāmaki Shared Path in East Auckland, Ngā Hau Māngere in South Auckland and most recently 4km of shared path and connections on the North Shore, between Albany Highway and Constellation Station.
“Next year, a further 7km of shared path and connections on the North Shore between Constellation Station and Oteha Valley Road will open. Meanwhile, the communities in Southern Auckland have been enjoying the Southern Path which opened between Takanini and Papakura in 2021,” Ms Hume says.
The Walk It. Wheel It. events are being held during the public consultation phase of the Waitematā Harbour Connections project which is investigating future long-term active mode connections across the harbour, tying into the wider walking and cycling and overall transport system.
“We hope that holding these events during the public consultation phase will encourage more people to engage in the consultation process buy giving them a first-hand experience of increased capacity for all modes to travel across the harbour,” Ms Hume says.
Auckland Transport’s Head of Cycling, Adrian Lord, says the Walk It. Wheel It. events will build on the momentum already underway for active transport in the city.
“I’m really looking forward to joining other Auckland families for the unique experience of using the bridge by bike, scooter or on foot.
“This is also a great chance for a car-free day out using our City Centre Loop and Northcote bike routes, or public transport to access the event,” Mr Lord says.
Tony Mitchell, Chair of Bike Auckland is excited about working in partnership with the government and Waka Kotahi on these events.
“People on bikes will be delighted with this news and pumping up their tyres early for a great day out on the bridge. It will be a great inclusive opportunity for those who want to give it a try and enjoy riding and walking across the bridge,” Mr Mitchell says.
Walk It. Wheel It. event facts
- Three free events will be held on Sunday 12, 19 and 26 March (rain date of Sunday 2 April), between 8am – 5pm each day.
- Twenty thousand free tickets will be available per day. Access will be limited to ticket holders to manage the number of people on the bridge at any one time to ensure everyone is kept safe.
- Details will be announced in early 2023 about how to secure free tickets.
- Ticket holders will enjoy free public transport (bus or train) to and from the arrival areas on either side of the bridge.
- As well as the chance to cross the harbour on foot or wheels, attendees will enjoy a family friendly atmosphere on both sides of the bridge and can grab a snack to fuel up at the food trucks on site.
- The total investment for all three events is expected to be approximately $1 million.
- Ticket holders will travel across the Auckland Harbour Bridge on the two western clip-on lanes, with access from both the Curran St on-ramp and the Stafford Rd off-ramp. The route is 2.5km from point to point, which will take about 30–40-minutes at average walking page or 10-15 minutes by bike. Ticket holders will be given detailed information about travel to the event when they secure their ticket.
- Using the western clip-ons allows for greater connectivity on each side of the Waitematā Harbour for people to arrive using active and public transport modes across the wider Auckland transport network and allows riders to make a ‘full loop’ of the city.