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Southern Hospitality: Park & Ride South Set To Smooth Southern Connections

Southern access into Auckland Airport is set to improve with the opening of a new transport facility, helping to reduce traffic volumes across the airport precinct.

With more than 30,000 vehicles travelling to and from Auckland Airport every day along the SH20B/Puhinui Road connection, the addition of a second Park & Ride site will free up critical key road infrastructure.

Auckland Airport Chief Infrastructure Officer Susana Fueyo said it’s rewarding to open the new facility and take another step forward in improving connections from South Auckland.

“With around 40 per cent of all airport traffic arriving from the south, it’s crucial our southern connections are efficient in getting customers and crew into the precinct. With the Park & Ride site on Puhinui Road, we’re able to offer an alternative parking option for the thousands of airport users, that needed to travel from the south and head north into the precinct to park at our existing Verissimo Drive site.”

A separate 700-space contactor car park is already in operation at the site to manage the workforce commuting to construction sites at the airport.

“Park & Ride South will benefit from our new T3 transit lanes along Laurence Stevens Drive completed earlier this year. These new terminal-bound transit lanes link in with Park & Ride buses, improving connections into the domestic and international terminals,” said Ms Fueyo.

Part of a wider $300-millon roading and transport investment, Park & Ride South was originally scheduled for completion in late 2020 with construction delayed until air travel demand recovered.

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The site has six EV charging stations available but is future-proofed to accommodate more than 100 EV charging stations if needed. While the bus service connecting the car park to both domestic and international terminals every 10-12 minutes will initially be on diesel-powered buses these will be phased out later this year in favour of electric buses.

A drop-off and pick-up site is incorporated into the design, scheduled for opening later this year ahead of the summer travel season.

“It aims to provide another quick and easy option for those ‘kiss and go’ airport drop-offs and pick-ups, particularly during busy times at the airport like the summer peak and school holidays,” said Ms Fueyo.

Stormwater management was a key focus for Park & Ride South, with the site situated upstream of the Manukau Harbour. Planted bio-retention swales within the landscaping will capture rain runoff for treatment, reducing contaminants from reaching the natural environment.

The 16-month long project supported 130 construction jobs.

The next roading project set for completion is the work underway on Laurence Stevens Drive and Puhinui Road, with road widening and the signalisation of the Puhinui Rd/Hape Drive/Tom Pearce Drive roundabout to improve traffic flows. This roadworks will be completed by late 2024.

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