$37 billion to help ease Auckland transport challenges

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 1, 2021

Auckland Transport has approved a $37 billion investment plan to tackle Auckland’s transport challenges.

The investment is the largest in Auckland Transport history and sets out numerous projects as part of the Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-2031.

Just under half of the investment will go towards public transport following strong support during the public consultation process, which saw 5818 submissions come through.

“Regional Land Transport Plans developed by local government must be consistent with the Government Policy Statement on land transport 2021 which focuses on improving safety, providing more accessible travel options, better freight connections and reduces the impact on the environment,” said Steve Mutton, Waka Kotahi director regional relationships Auckland and Northland.

“Waka Kotahi is pleased that Auckland’s future transport plans are aligned with this and will help deliver a more resilient transport system that makes Auckland a great place to live.”

All projects outlined in the draft RLTP have been approved, with a number of additional projects also announced.

New projects include an additional investment of $12.5 million to improve safety at the Dairy Flat Highway/The Avenue intersection, an additional $20 million invested over 10 years for new footpaths, $4.7 million of Auckland Council funding to address the Hill Street Intersection in Warkworth, with the remainder of funding for that project expected to come from Waka Kotahi.

Of the $37 billion investment, 50% goes towards capital expenditure, with the remaining 50% going towards maintenance, operations and renewals.

The share of funding for new projects can be broken down into:

  •       Public transport and environmental – 49%
  •       Strategic and local roads – 24%
  •       Walking and cycling – 8%
  •       Spatial priorities – 7%
  •       Safety – 6%
  •       Optimisation and technology – 4%

Auckland Transport board chair Adrienne Young-Cooper says the approved RLTP will help address a number of challenges in the region.

“Between 2016 and 2031, Auckland’s population will increase by 22% from 1.59 million to 1.93 million.

“We know that we can’t build our way out of congestion. By 2031, most of the large roading projects in the region will be finished. We need to shift our mindset on reallocating road space to focus more around the movement of freight and high-occupancy vehicles,” she says.

“Looking ahead to 2031, we will have delivered on transformational change with mass transit projects such as the Northern Busway Extension, Eastern Busway, Airport to Botany Rapid Transit, City Rail Link, the interim Northwest Busway – as well as the electrification of the rail line to Pukekohe.”