Last week Auckland Transport and the NZTA kicked off consultation they call Transport for Future Urban Growth (TFUG). This is looking at what high level strategic transport networks may be needed over the next 30 years to support over two Hamilton’s worth of population outside the existing urban area – concentrated in three areas, North (including Warkworth), Northwest and South. All up they think these transport networks could cost in excess of $10 billion. There’s more on the process in the original post linked above.
The consultation is lasting over four weeks with each of the three areas getting two weeks – that means you only have one week left to submit on the proposals for the South. Today starts the consultation for the North. The Dairy Flat-Millwater area is expected to get 30,000 new dwellings and 13,000 new jobs.
The future urban strategy basically sees a whole lot of development to the west of the motorway as shown below in the light yellow (residential) and light blue (commercial)
Transport issues in the Dairy Flat-Millwater area are listed as:
- Maintaining State Highway efficiency for inter-regional travel
- Significant transport infrastructure will need to be planned, designated and built to support these new communities, which could take up to 20 years to be in place
- Ensuring the transport sector works closely with other utilities designating and building at the same time
- Developing a significant public transport network to service commuters and local employment opportunities.
The potential network for the Dairy Flat-Millwater area is shown below and as you can see it’s potentially quite busy.
They ask if there should be a new north-south route and/or if there should be improvements to Dairy Flat Rd and East Coast Rd. At the very least upgrading East Coast Rd seems a bit odd when all of the development is to the west of the motorway.
They also want to know about extending the busway (and future proofed for light rail). They ask two questions, should it be extended to Orewa (yes) and should it run along SH1 like the rest of the Northern Busway or should it divert into the development area to the west of the motorway. The latter might provide greater walking and cycling coverage but would also slow down bus trips, a good old fashion trade-off between speed and coverage.
Linking the north-south routes they want to know where east-west routes should be included too. Some potential ones include
- Wainui Road connection
- Millwater South connection
- Pine Valley Road connection
- Spur Road connection
- Wilks Road/Kahikatea Flat Rd Flat Road connection
- Penlink western connection
- Bawden Road connection
Lastly they want to know about SH1 and whether there should be a focus on adding capacity or on providing better access to or from it.
Along with the Dairy Flat-Millwater area the North consultation also includes Warkworth where about 7,900 new dwellings and 4,000 new jobs are expected.
The government are obviously committed to building Puhoi to Warkworth and the issues are around what impacts that has on transport within Warkworth. Along with that is ensuring SH1 works well and that there are alternative local roads
Potential options include
- The Matakana Link Rd which is intended to run from the end of the motorway and avoid traffic heading to holiday spots from having to go through Warkworth. I understand the NZTA want this completed at the same time as the motorway.
- The Western Corridor which was meant to be a bypass of Warkworth till the government plucked the motorway out of thin air as a priority.
- New east-west routes
- Potential Park & Ride and bus services to further turn Warkworth into a satellite commuter town.
What do you think should be the priorities for transport in these new greenfield areas in the North?