Last week the Regional Transport Committee confirmed the final form of the 2010 Regional Land Transport Strategy – the culmination of a couple of years’ work in creating Auckland a guiding 30 year transport document. As I have said before, the strategy is an overall excellent document, and really shifts Auckland’s transport thinking in the right direction – to a more balanced and sustainable future.
One alteration to the RLTS that I strongly pushed for, the inclusion of provision for a Northwest Busway along State Highway 16, was specifically mentioned in the minutes of the RTC meeting – and although it hasn’t been added as a part of the Rapid-Transit Network for now, it certainly seems as though there is now an awareness of the idea – which will hopefully filter through to influence the widening of State Highway 16 that is currently being proposed. Here’s the resolution made by the Regional Transport Committee:
Whilst ideally the NW Busway would have been detailed specifically in the RLTS, having this resolution is very helpful as it places great emphasis on the ARC really pushing NZTA to provide quality bus priority along SH16 as part of its upgrade, and – perhaps even more importantly – gives strong direction that whatever gets built now does not compromise the ability to build a busway or railway line along the corridor in the future. This is very important because I think there’s a great risk the upgrades to SH16, including the Waterview Connection interchange, will make it extremely difficult to thread a busway or railway line through them in the future.
One only needs to look at Britomart, or even at Newmarket station, to realise the dangers of not properly future-proofing. Hopefully we won’t make that mistake again.