Priorities revealed for Auckland Integrated Transport Plan

In News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 1, 2023

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown and Minister of Transport David Parker have revealed the priorities for the Auckland Integrated Transport Plan.

Among the main priorities highlighted in the Auckland Integrated Transport Plan 2024-2027 is more rapid transit and preparing Auckland’s port for relocation.

It also includes work to implement ‘time of use’ charging to replace the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax.

“Auckland’s transport network faces a range of challenges, which both the Minister and I agree will require legislative change and a more integrated partnership approach to decision-making across central and local government,” said Brown.

“We’ve agreed rapid transit is essential for the Auckland region and is a core priority for the Auckland Integrated Transport Plan. That includes speeding up buses, making the best of rapid transit projects that are underway and planning the next phase of the rapid transit network, including light rail.”

Parker said the recently issued draft Government Policy Statement for Land Transport includes commitments to key public transport projects for Auckland, as well as more money for maintenance.

“The Government will prioritise work on Northwest Rapid Transit, and we have agreed that further planning and investigation of the Airport to Botany rapid transit corridor is required,” he said.

Other key priorities for the Auckland Integrated Transport plan 2024-27 announced today include:

Optimising the existing network: by working together to implement time of use charging to replace the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax, implementing dynamic bus lanes on key arterial routes to make buses faster and more reliable and reducing traffic management-related costs.

Building resilience into Auckland’s Transport system: by funding maintenance and renewals at a sustainable rate to improve the condition of the road network and working together to align the Making Space for Water programme and transport investments.

Identifying efficiencies and reprioritisation options: by ensuring low-cost transport solutions are fully examined before expensive programmes are agreed to, acknowledging that appropriate maintenance of the road surface is a road safety issue and examining funding for road safety to ensure they are delivering a reduction in deaths while meeting community expectations.

Completing and maximising the benefits of current projects: by supporting removal of level crossings required for the City Rail Link to meet its potential and the completion of extensions to the Eastern Busway.

The plan also aims for the Port of Auckland to consolidate and move from its current location – by progressing planning work on key projects that allow increased used of rail freight between Auckland and adjoining regions, including the rail line from Avondale to Southdown, and time of use charging to support moving trucks to off-peak times.

“There is joint recognition that Auckland’s port will consolidate and ultimately move from its current location. While the timing and pace will depend on several factors and is likely to take decades to complete in full, the Minister and I agree consolidation should commence within three years,” said Brown.

“Aucklanders want us to deliver a faster, more reliable transport system and this progress towards an integrated transport plan includes sensible interventions to speed things up.”