At today’s Board Meeting Auckland Transport approved the Integrated Transport Programme – a 30 year strategic transport document for Auckland which gives effect to the relevant matters of the Auckland Plan. Here’s the press release:

For the first time Auckland has a comprehensive programme outlining action for delivering on the city’s transport issues.

Auckland Transport’s Integrated Transport Programme sets out the 30 year investment programme to meet the transport priorities outlined in the Auckland Plan. The programme has been developed by Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency in collaboration with Auckland Council. It aims for the management of transport in Auckland as One System.

The programme covers state highways and local roads, railways, buses, ferries, footpaths, cycleways, intermodal transport facilities and supporting facilities such as parking and park-and-ride.

The One System approach will result in:

• Better use of use of existing transport networks
• Better alignment of transport provision with changing patterns of land use and demand
• A safer, more resilient national and regional network, where a greater range of resources and options is available to deal with unexpected events or future changes
• Better alignment of effort between network providers and elimination of overlap and duplication

Auckland Transport chairman Lester Levy says the programme is visionary. “It is not just aspirational, it is a realistic programme of work to be delivered over the next 30 years as we push to make Auckland a vibrant city with close to two and a half million people.”

The cost of fully funding the transport programme over the next 30 years is estimated at around $60 billion in 2012 dollar terms. Given current funding sources there is an estimated funding gap of between $10 billion and $15 billion to deliver the fully funded programme.

The costs peak over the next ten years due to major investments in projects such as the City Rail Link, the Western Ring Route, AMETI in east Auckland and the East-West Corridor.

Dr Levy says “Funding will be a key issue in successfully addressing the challenges of growth in the years ahead.”

The programme compares scenarios in 2022 based on full funding and committed funding. For instance the current 70 million a year passengers on public transport would double to 140 million in 2022 with full funding and would reach 103 million with committed funding.

The number of annual public transport trips per capita would rise from the current 44 to 84 with full funding and 66 with partial funding.

Walking, cycling and public transport share of morning peak would rise from 23 per cent currently to 32.2 per cent in 2022 under full funding and 31 per cent with committed funding.

In the first decade of the 30 year period all the scenarios assessed show service performance generally improving.

Obtaining the full benefits of the investment programme will progressively require greater use of network and demand management. These measures can only be successfully introduced when people and businesses have access to realistic transport choices.

Such choices depend on delivering integrated infrastructure, and improvements to public transport and rail freight services in the first decade. Given the long lead times involved, planning needs to start in the first decade alongside completing strategic road, public transport and active mode networks.

In the second and third decades those improvements can only be sustained through investment in new capacity. The levels of congestion forecast for Auckland by 2041 are well in excess of the current levels experienced in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

Road network use will need to be prioritised to increase the productivity of the network by means such as more freight and transit lanes. And stronger transport management will be needed to reduce congestion by encouraging more use of improved public transport and walking and cycling.

The Integrated Transport Programme will be revised and improved to respond to Auckland’s changing transport network over time.

As Matt said the other day, there are a huge number of outstanding questions in relation to this document – which seems to be saying that even if we spend the vast sum of $60 billion on transport over the next 30 years we get an outcome that’s significantly worse than what exists today. I agree with Matt that the most likely reason for this terrible outcome seems to be the amount of sprawl proposed over the next 30 years in the land-use assumptions made by the document, as well as most of the money going towards new motorways rather than onto improved public transport.

It will be fascinating to see how the narrative of this document is received by the public. $60 billion is a heck of a lot of money.

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  1. “The levels of congestion forecast for Auckland by 2041 are well in excess of the current levels experienced in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.” Doesn’t this suggest that the feedback from congestion to declining vehicle use isn’t being captured by the Auckland model ? For example in Melbourne when traffic lanes were removed in St Kilda Road, the traffic readjusted and it didn’t cause gridlock. Most PT users in these cities don’t see much of this congestion, because they travel on rail lines, tram lanes or roads that don’t attract many car commuters. You only see the congestion if travelling by car along the main arterials leading to the freeways.

    1. Yes very true – it does seem as though the transport models are spitting out more and more nonsensical results. Off-peak more congested than the peak? What a joke!

      1. Not a modeller, but could it have been due to the “congested” definition being different off-peak? I.e. because off-peak, people have an expectation that traffic will flow more freely, a lower treshold counts as congested.

        Not saying I know this is so, or that this makes it all hunky-dorey, but it would at least explain that barmy table.

    2. And if you keep widening arterials and building motorways instead of quality PT you just get the same result. Has the last 55 years not taught us anything?

      1. That building new motorways is highly profitable for construction companies, and makes for great ribbon-cutting photography for the politicians?

  2. The idea that people adapt to congestion is not widely held by traffic planners/engineers/funders. The current NW motorway patterns prove that this happens. The Lincoln Rd rebuild (a total debacle in project management if I ever saw one) has created such a constriction in the flow on the NW that the morning peak is well underway before 6am and continues thru beyond 9am. The afternoon peak from 3:30 to 7:30 at least. People have adapted, I now leave home 45mins earlier than I did 18mths ago to get a half decent run. So STOP building motorways, shift the spend to PT and we will embrace it. We are an adaptive species or we wouldn’t have lasted as long as we have, just give us the opportunity to convince ourselves that transit was all our own idea and we’ll be onto it. Rant over. Let’s hope Lester can bring some sanity to this mad plan!

  3. I don’t know why anyone bothers to even propose a 30 year plan. Are we still working to the dictates of any 1983 plan? Of course not. Conditions change. Thinking changes. And policies and projects will be proposed depending on what people think at the time.

    Plan for the next ten years. Maximum.

    1. I think it becomes relevant for issues like future-proofing and route protection. Otherwise kind of agree with you – the only thing certain about a 30 year plan is that it won’t happen as planned!

  4. This plan still seems to leave large holes that are not addressed that it makes me wonder what we will get out of the money spent at the end of 30 years if it was to go ahead?

    A very good example is the Mill Road arterial which is designed (partly) to feed even more traffic onto the Southern Motorway at the Manukau Redoubt road interchange; but haven’t they noticed that this is already congested at peak times? The only way to fix this problem and cater for this extra feed would surely be to widen the Southern motorway to 4 lanes – and that would need to be extended all the way through to the city at absolutely massive cost over and above what is shown here.

    We will never get congestion fixed with roads alone; but when I look at the public transport spending it still feels like it is playing second fiddle – does anyone see it this way?

    1. The only way I see us and we do have to start thinking about everyone in the city when it comes to transport and not just about what effects a few people. For that matter this goes way beyond transport … anyway before I get off track.

      Back to my point. I think we should not spend anymore on roads other than what is underway and maintenance. And direct our attention towards PT for at least the next 10 years and then see where we are. I think we will find that a lot of the roading projects will not be required or at the very least not needed to the scale they are currently proposed.

    2. Why not build the proposed Mill Rd corridor as a quality (say LRT) PT line to feed into the Manukau – Botany – Pakuranga line (wishful thinking at work here) as the first option? Then, if required, look at roading options. We’ve done roads and they have got us nowhere. Time to start with the PT option first.

  5. Has anyone modelled the effect of these transport projects will have on land values ? There’s a new report on the effect of nearness to high-quality transit on real estate sales in a number of US cities. Here are some quotes:
    “Using a sample of over 40,000 mortgages in Chicago, Jacksonville, and San Francisco, the probability
    of mortgage default increased as the auto ownership rates rose.”
    “Overall there was a substantial decline in average residential sales prices in the
    study regions between 2006 and 2011. However, in all of the regions, the decline
    in average residential sales prices within the transit shed was lower than in the
    region as a whole or the non-transit area. Across the study regions, the transit
    shed [catchment area] outperformed the region as a whole by 41.6 percent.”

    Being within walking distance of a rail line with frequent service increased home values relative to other areas in the same city. What does a location near a main road or motorway do ?

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