The third and final consultation on Transport for Future Urban Growth (TFUG) has kicked off today and this time it’s the turn of the North-west. The intention of this work is to start working out what major transport infrastructure is going to be needed to support around 110,000 houses on undeveloped land in three main areas on the edge of Auckland. The first consultation was in the South and last week they kicked off the consultation for the North.

In the Northwest they expect that over the next 30 years there’ll be around 30,000 new homes housing 75,000 people. There’ll also be around 13,000 new jobs which suggests the area will continue to have very high commuter flows.

The development is expected to mainly be in two clusters, one around Westgate/Whenuapai/Hobsonville and a second around Huapai/Kumeu. This is shown below along with some of the transport projects already being planned

TFUG Committed projects - Northwest Auckland

One question I continue to have is why AT are thinking of widening Hobsonville Rd when we’ve just built a parallel motorway. As someone who travels the road regularly (when riding home like I’ll be doing this afternoon) the road is has fairly light traffic volumes and is certainly not a priority to widen.

The main transport issues are listed as:

  • Safety of State Highway 16
  • Communities along State Highway 16, such as Kumeu and Huapai, have only single road access in and out, limiting travel options
  • Severance caused by State Highway 16 and the rail corridor
  • No rapid public transport connections between the north west and large employment areas.

When it comes to the list of potential options for the North-west there are quite a few.

TFUG Potential Network - Northwest

  1. Alternative corridor parallel to SH16.
  2. Extend commuter rail services to Huapai.
  3. Improved east-west connections to Redhills.
  4. Extend the northwestern busway to Kumeu/Huapai (and future proof for light rail).
  5. Direct north west to North Shore connection between SH16 and SH18.
  6. Improved connections to Coatesville, Riverhead and North Shore.
  7. Westgate to Albany busway.
  8. Increased frequencies on Hobsonville and West Harbour ferry services.
  9. Improve safety and/or capacity on SH16.
  10. New north-south connection.
  11. Whenuapai new connections.

There are immediately a few quite interesting aspects but I’ll cover them further below as they are looked at in more detail in options for the individual areas.

In the Red Hills/Westgate/Whenuapai area a lot of growth is already under way. They say the housing is sequenced to happen around Whenuapai from 2017-2021 while the housing around the area around Red Hills will be between 2022-2026.

AT/NZTA say planning is already underway for the NW busway as far as Westgate but they also want to know whether it should be carried on to Kumeu (yes) or done via just bus lanes. They also want to know if a busway or bus priority should go over SH18 to Constellation.

NZTA also obviously want to give better north/east motorway connections which weren’t built as part of the motorway works finished about 5 years ago.  It would be interesting to see just how much those connections will cost.

TFUG Potential Network - Northwest - Whenuapai

Looking further northwest at Huapai/Kumeu there are a few additional options. Along with the busway/bus priority there’s also the possibility of upgrading the existing rail line from Swanson. I think the busway/light rail wins hands down as the rail line is simply too indirect and not many travel from the area to stations along the western line – a trend that isn’t likely to change. Even without a full busway, improving services is something AT could be putting in place fairly quickly if they wanted. I also suspect that getting SH16 out of the Huapai/Kumeu town centre is almost certainly going to be needed as the area develops.

There is also a question as to whether SH16 should be improved through the town centre or if the town centre should be bypassed by a new road. If the goal is to make the area more like a town centre – like I think we should be aiming for – then a bypass is going to be a better option.

TFUG Potential Network - Northwest - Huapai-Kumeu

This consultation is open for two weeks while the consultation for the North finishes next week. Following this consultation, the team/s working on it will come up with a suggested package of projects for further consultation in April.

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71 comments

  1. In terms of the question “Why Widen Hobsonville Road”, I believe that AT needs to improve the arterial routes markedly because still, motorways are often easier to travel short distances on in comparison to arterials.

    Case an point is on the North Shore. I had to travel to Wairau Road from Takapuna on a Saturday afternoon, instead of taking the motorway, I took the arterial. I had to stop at (without exaggeration) at every single set of lights – which probably made my non-motorway journey 10 minutes longer.

    If our arterials are better, people should use motorways less or more effectively.

    1. Well the great opportunity that arterial duplication-by-motorway offers, and that we are terrible at taking, is to remake the older more locally connected aterials, into complete streets, properly serving all modes; proper bike and bus lanes, complete street trees, and generous footpathery. Instead we just leave them as vastly over scaled mini m’way race tracks.

      This is the potential that needs grasping in order to help compensate for the severance the new m’way inevitably causes.

      This becomes obvious and necessary when the road and street network is understood from a place angle as well as a movement one. Something our institutions are not good at out of habit.

      1. I agree that it needs to be effectively multi-modal. But one of the big issues we have (which ramp signals attempts to solve too) is that Motorways in are used for too many short trips. In Auckland one can see many people get on at Gillies Ave and off at Khyber!!

        1. Yes but that is a fundamental network design fault; well it is when viewed from the Network Ops angle. The AKL central SH1has never known whether it’s for getting little Jonny from Ponsonby to Grammar or trucks from Waikato to northland. It has always been asked to do all things, which no doubt upsets m’way purists [Friction! Flow!]. But there it is; it royally fucks inner AKL with brutal severance so on balance I guess we need it to something for the locals!

        2. I don’t understand why drivers shouldn’t use the motorway for short journeys – if it’s a good route, why not? – but any such issues could and should be sorted out by a proper road-pricing scheme. People will always tend to over-use something that appears to be free (because everyone else is paying for it). (See, eg, Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free Parking.)

          1. Yeah exactly. What’s wrong with people using the motorway from Gilles ave to khyber pass, when the alternative is further clogging the back streets of Newmarket instead, or perhaps driving through the back streets of Epsom.

    2. I thought the main reason for widening Hobsonville Road was to cater for all the trucks accessing the new industrial and commercial subdivisions (between it and the motorway), and because the lack of west-facing ramps at Squadron Dr forces all Hobsonville Point residents to use Brigham Creek Rd (presumably NZTA expected them to use SH1 not SH16).

  2. It’s somewhat surprising that they’re treating NW Busway as a done deal, when in reality nothing is still sure. Also with these timeframes they’re effectively talking about building the busway extensions either together with the busway (start in 2025?) or even before it.

  3. Currently traffic crosses the Upper Harbour Bridge in the morning in two lanes (capacity 4000vph) and then hits a queue caused by 1/ the Albany Highway offramp and 2/ the lights at Paul Matthews that have 2 approach lanes (capacity 2x1800vph x 0.4 green/cycle= 1440vph). All because Transit NZ left out the Paul Matthews to SH1 upgrade to save $. Once Waterview opens the demand will increase but the capacity will still be 1440vph. Even when they get around to the next bit to SH1 they have left off the south facing ramps on SH1 on the mistaken assumption everyone wants to go north. Some ring route!

  4. I do like project 1. the alternative corridor parallel to SH16, which in my mind should be an extension of the NorthWest Motorway to Waiamuku, and transform the existing SH16 into a nice much queiter arterial road

    1. ‘and transform the existing SH16 into a nice much queiter arterial road’

      ….good luck with that; the old road will never be de-tuned, never has been yet, we just get the duplication, and no money fro ‘upgrading’ the old one [‘upgrading’ cos many Traffic Engineers wouldn’t consider any reduction in vehicle LOS to be an upgrade, cos you know, vehicles are their masters, not humans]

      1. huh? How would the LOS be reduced if most of the traffic went onto a new road? That make it quieter. Other than that there is not much anyone could do to a rural road unless you know of some way to get a budget to spend money on a road people dont use so much.

  5. The council should probably assign a different name to the future suburb of ‘Red Hills’ because it is confusingly similar to ‘Redhill’ in Papakura.

  6. ” I think the busway/light rail wins hands down as the rail line is simply too indirect ”

    CRL will greatly improve this situation. Don’t be so quick to write off clean, green, electrified rail to Huapai. A busway will most likely be dirty diesel for the foreseeable future. Light Rail will mean development of a whole new route, not just upgrading part of an existing route. To me, extending the Western Line is the way to go, particularly if AT can get out of its “Every-train-all-stops” mentality.

    1. Absolutely, I don’t find it indirect at all, great connections with west and completely congestion free the whole trip, compared with the current bus service its a much better option, even back when there was still bus priority on the NW motorway, rail was a much better way to go to the CBD, unfortunately their “failed” trial was a big balls-up, with only 3 services (1 in a direction, 2 in another direction) a day running all the way from Helensville. Was impossible for me to use it yet alone many others.

    2. No way is electrification quick and easy. For starters would need to daylight the tunnel at Waitakere which was a main reason why the line wasn’t electrified in the first place.

      Peter you might not find it a problem but reality is you can’t ignore the geography. Even with CRL it’s ~36km which is about 10km longer than the road. Once SH16 finished next year, while not a proper busway the new bus lanes should be a considerable improvement. Also has the added benefit that it could be run at higher frequencies much easier.

      1. Both bus and rail options are needed. Rail can be started practically immediately. I understand your idealogy over the issue, but practically a rail service from Huapai will provide a better option for people needing to reach all points on the Western Line except Britomart. This will remain the case even when the bus shoulder lanes are completed in 10+ years.

        The Public Transport Users Association supports both a bus way and the logical rail service extension. One will not jeopardise the other but rail can start asap.

        I think it would be nice to give the communities what they want for a change.

        1. Jon, yes in time both routes should surely be served, but the immediate question is what should be focussed on next?

          a couple of thoughts:

          If a strong case can be made for intra-west trips, like Kumeu- Hendo or New Lynn, that would help, as the whole city journey is not time competitive.
          What do you mean ‘a couple of tweaks’? Old diesels? Because the cost to run any train at a useful frequency is seriously non-trivial.
          Yes give the people what they want, within reason; ie what other things that the people want can’t they have if we were to spend so much on this?

        2. Us being ideological over it, that’s a new one, being ideological would be saying we must use rail regardless of how long it would take simply because it uses a freight line built 100 years ago.

          Perhaps you could help by showing how many people are traveling from kumeu to the west because all of the numbers I’ve seen (e.g. from census) suggest it’s very small, far more to city and North Shore. You could then he’ll by showing how many of those going to the west would be prepared to use PT and then the number that would be prepared to catch an infrequent train to Swanson where they have to transfer to an electric one. If be happy to support it if you can prove decent numbers of people would actually use it (and no a survey of residents saying they want rail is not the same as saying they’ll use it).

          I think the way that AT has asked the question in the consultation is quite interesting, not do you want it but which would you use more. I suspect a frequent NEX quality service even just using the bud lanes coming with SH16 upgrade would be preferable over an infrequent and slow train

  7. It all looks like a waste of money to me. The only thing they should do is plan and protect a future rail line and widen the bridge on brigham creek rd.

  8. Glad they are finally consulting on rail to Huapai. The locals and frequent visitors will be in strong support of that happening ASAP I imagine. Bus is a waste of time at peak until the NW busway is built (and all the way to Huapai), which will be quite difficult from what i’ve seen and will still be bus priority lanes-only between CBD and Te Atatu.

    1. Being in strong support and actually using it are two quite different things.

      Oh and the bus lanes will extend to Lincoln and will to Westgate once the Royal Rd section is finished (yes should have been a busway from the start)

      1. Think you misunderstand me Matt, post-busway by their current plans is bus priority-lanes-only between CBD and Te Atatu, yes Te Atatu onward would be busway, of course at the expensive of a lot of residential property. But yeah.

      2. The problem with bus lanes is that at each proposed station there is a cross over, and therefore time penalty, for all users of the busway/bus lanes. And the corridor is now 100% used in some sections unless we are to remove another huge chunk of housing.

        1. Yeah well even back when there was bus lanes for most of the NW the train felt quicker than the 060 bus. didn’t time it but yeah, much more comfortable and seemed a lot quicker. Yes, it was the all-stops train too.

          1. The Northern busway appears to be way faster than trains. It takes 8 minutes for 6 km from Constellation Drive to Akoranga — an average of 45 km/h. But that probably has a lot to do with the long distance between stops (only 2, Smales Farm and Sunnynook).

    2. Light rail is the logical solution, user & environmentally friendly. With all the development at westgate, hobsonville, Kumeu, Riverhead infrastructure should be going in now rather than squandering NW rates doing up the city centre. Spend our rates in our area!!

  9. Auckland Transport claim the upgrade of Hobsonville Road upgrade will “accommodate a quality transit network of buses and includes upgraded intersections, wider footpaths and cycleways.”

    No mention of actual bus lanes!! Sounds like more PT whitewash 🙁

  10. Will the busway require widening the causeway? I wonder how the environment court would react to the same applicant turning up a decade later to further reclaim the CMA, when they probably made no mention of it in the prior application.

    1. Second decade delivery, but the current WRR works aren’t really done with a NW busway in mind, also the NZTA draft only shows Westgate to Te Atatu as Busway, the rest of the way into the city is Bus priority/mixed with general traffic for a much longer distance than the NEX. Environmentally and financially a busway along the courseway just wont work it seems.

  11. As you know, more than 120 people attended a public meeting in Kumeu last year in which all but one supported rail to Kumeu. The message was clear – yes to trains, no to buses. That is the view of the people who live there.

    The line may be indirect, but it’s still faster, more convenient and more attractive than buses, to all other western locations, and comparable in times to the city as well (will be faster post-CRL).

    No different from Henderson-Auckland being very indirect by rail, but in which that indirectness is overriden by the above mentioned factors.

    The dedicated PT corridor already exists. It just needs a little tweaking and put back into use. It’s good to see AT having it feature prominently on their plans, no doubt the result of the public feedback from that area, which favours rail over buses.

    It would be a shame should this blog start opposing AT’s rail expansion plans, when they are supported by both AT, and the public.

    1. Maybe you’re using a different system of measuring time out west, but I can’t see how the rail line is “faster” in any universe that is known to the rest of man-kind.

      Westgate to city by bus (post-buslanes) will be circa 35 mins-ish, and that’s probably the upper limit. In contrast, post-crl the train will take about 45mins from swanson to city. So from kumeu you’ll be nudging 55mins once you allow for the extra stop, transfer, and additional running-time.

      Notwithstanding rail’s advantages, it’s simply not worth adding 15mins (or 40%) to everyone’s travel-times. Most normal people actually just want to get to work/uni and spend time with loved ones, without spending time on a daily tour of west Auckland.

      1. A bus from Huapai to the City 35 minutes? Please tell me you are joking? You obviously know nothing about PT in this location. If you did any research you would see the 9:16am from Midtown to Huapai express, which is the closest example to busway speeds (as it goes opposite direction of morning mway congestion) takes 59 minutes and it isn’t even stopping along the Motorway or merging in and out of bus-lanes on the course-way.

        1. Sorry that was a typo: Meant to say Westgate to the city wil be 35mins by bus, as per my reply to Malcolm’s comment below. Kumeu to britomart by bus travelling in dedicated busway should be 40-45mins.

          As for current bus travel times, they have about the same relevance to this debate as a packet of kumara chips has to nasa’s space programme.

          1. You obviously haven’t tried it then, that’s how long it takes without any congestion impact as i’ve said. But you can probably prune a few minutes off if you cut out pt chev/grey lynn out.

          2. How can you try something that doesn’t yet exist? On basis of distance and normal bus operating speeds in similar conditions you’d expect an express bus from westgate to city to take 30-40mins depending on route taken and level of priority. That’s faster than train no matter what.

          3. No again you are failing to read what I have said, are you only skim reading? Helensville “express” buses run both directions at both peaks, the services that run the opposite direction of peak traffic give a very good example (real world) of what busway speeds will be like as there is no congestion impact, that is the time I reflected above as per AT’s JP, the timetable and my own experience. Although it could essentially take even more time with the busway, if they add 80 speed limits and have to stop at each busway station and also have to merge in and out of bus lanes along the lengthy non-busway section between Te Atatu and the City. Can you please enlighten me as to what part you aren’t following? :/

          4. Ah the miscommunication is partly due to a typo in my earlier comment: I wrote Huapai but meant to say westgate to city will be ~35 minutes.

            But your comparison is also curious for other reasons: Google maps indicates that the 736am 13X service from 300 Lincoln Rd takes 5 minutes to get into the city from Lincoln Rd. That seems a little fast to me, but still shows that the above travel-time is not unreasonable.

      2. Geoff until you apologise for some of your earlier behaviour i will continue to ridicule you.

        One thing i should clarify: when i a said 35mins for bus i meant from westgate to city, because that’s what’s most relevant to most people. Kumeu is a typo.

      3. I’m not going to argue on travel times, just saying that the experience/evidence from overseas (e.g., France, USA, etc.) indicates that more people will choose to use PT if it’s a train, light rail, or tram than choose to use PT if it’s a bus. Yes, there are exceptions (e.g., Curitiba in Brazil – but even there an underground metro is being tendered, slowly), but generally, for whatever reasons (probably including comfort, perceived safety, and snobbishness), more people prefer to take a train, if it’s on offer – here’s a study on it: http://www.nctr.usf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/JPT15.1Scherer.pdf.

        1. Jamie that’s simply not a useful statement,

          Yes, holding all other factors constant *most* people (not all – the mobility impaired tend to prefer bus because they stop more frequently) prefer rail. That includes myself.

          In this context not everything is equal. Consider two options:
          A) A train every 30 mins with one transfer that takes 55 mins; or
          B) A direct bus every 10 minutes that takes ~40mins.

          As the NEX has shown people use high-quality bus services in large numbers. You may be interested to know that patronage on northern busway services is approaching patronage on the eastern line. That’s with far fewer stations and far lower operating costs.

          So I don’t think modal comparisons in isolation are that useful!

      4. I think you need to view the bus time table, dont know where you get 55 mins from – you obviously dont live in Kumeu or Waimauku and have never caught a bus from one of these places in the morning.. file:///C:/Users/Ginger/Downloads/w03_massey_hobsonville_oct-2015-web(1).pdf

  12. What some commenters here do not seem to have grasped is the route taken by the off peak buses departing from Helensville for the city. All but 1 take a tiki tour of west Auckland, If I catch an 11.30am bus from Huapai I will arrive in the CBD at 1pm having been given a guided tour of West Auckland. Compare that to the only direct off peak service which I can catch at 3.45 to arrive in the CBD at roughly 4.20 – 4.30. The off peak service is used by many students now priced out of the central city area.

    And for those of you don’t know the weekend schedule:
    Saturday – last bus to and from 5pm
    Sunday – No service, that’s right NO SERVICE.

    Perhaps Stu Donovan would care to check the transit times on the NW timetable before trying to tell me about times …

    Geoff Blackmore’s comments are on the money – The “trial” rail service to Helensville was built to fail with the departure times not reflecting modern employment trends and hours of work.

    The lack of public transport in the area has already translated into a general disdain for public transport users and their infrastructure – I have been abused and threatened with violence for asking people not to park in the bus stop where myself and others are waiting. Currently the Huapai township bus stop is continually occupied by vehicles belonging to tradesmen working on an adjacent construction site. This has been occurring since November despite my appeals to the site manager, the construction company, Auckland Transport and the Auckland Council.

    Traffic volumes in the north west are already very high, with daily traffic jams running from Brighams creek to the Kumeu / Huapai area. If there is an event such as the Kumeu Classic Car show, Folk Festival or the Helensville A&P show then congestion will run back along SH16 to Westgate. This congestion is not helped by the large number of “Tradies” vehicles in the area working on the expanded housing areas.

    N.Z.T replaced the single lane Kumeu river road bridge a few years ago with another single lane bridge, Genius…

    I imagine any input by the locals will be ignored once again and the long planned road widening will never happen

    1. I did check transit times. Google Maps shows a Western line service departing Swanson at 7:48am is scheduled to arrive at Britomart 8:44am, i.e. 56mins total travel-time. Post-CRL this might reduce to say 45mins. A rail service from Kumeu would therefore be expected to take 45mins + 1 min for stop at Swanson + running-time between Kumeu and Swanson = approximately 50-55 minutes.

      I agree much of west Auckland area has poor transit services. This might be why AT are consulting on how to make it better, e.g. NW busway?!?

      And why on God’s green fields of Kumeu/Huapai are you talking about existing bus services? That’s an irrelevant benchmark. Bus services out west are being completely reconfigured, first with the New Network, then to support proposed greenfields development, and then following the proposed NW busway.

      At which point you might expect a bus service every 15mins all-day between Westgate and the City with an (estimated) travel-time of 35mins (NB: I note that the NEX makes it from Albany to Britomart, which is a similar distance as Westgate to City, in only 26 minutes, so my estimates of bus travel-times may be conservative). And the bus could operate at 3-5 minute headways in peak, whereas rail from Kumeu-Haupai would only ever be a maximum of every 30 minutes.

      How much do you think working people and students might value a 5 minute peak headway over a 30 minute headway?

      I note that car travel-time is 21 minutes for the same journey, so it’s very likely that with some decent priority the would could make the trip in less than 35 minutes – even further advantaging bus over any potential rail service.

      Not even Donald Trump could spin the numbers to make this stack-up. But you and Geoff are welcome to try.

      I don’t know how you define “locals”, but much of the west would stand to benefit from a NW busway, hence why it has support from a number of local pollies.

      1. Huapai-Henderson currently takes 45mins by bus, or about 1 hour to New Lynn. There is more to the city than just the CBD, and it shouldn‘t be the only destination considered once on the fringes of the city.
        The railway line is fairly straight from Huapai/Kumeu-Waitakere so speed on this section should be good. Distance is about 8km, and should be achieveable in 8mins.
        Waitakere-Swanson 6mins
        Swanson-Henderson 9mins
        Henderson-New Lynn 12mins
        So the train to Henderson would take 23mins (22mins faster than bus) and train to New Lynn 35mins (25mins faster than bus).
        Yes there will be a busway down the motorway in future but its likely a transfer would be required to these destinations. I can‘t see the bus improving much, potentially it could get worse with increased traffic. Rail is likely to always offer a faster trip.

        1. A express bus service via Westgate is the best future option for NW. With the Westgate centre development, the focus of NW will be increasingly turning from Henderson to Westgate.

        2. It’s probably worth having a look at some of the actual travel demands, this Statistics NZ tool is quite useful: http://www.stats.govt.nz/datavisualisation/commuterview/index.html#

          From here, we can see in the 2013 Census the number of commuters travelling from the Kumeu West area unit (for example) to the two Henderson area units was a total of 9 people, that’s for all modes combined.

          Of course to get the full understanding we should add up the four area units covering the wider Kumeu-Huapai-Waimauku area, but even then the numbers are small. A total of 42 commuters across census day between the four area units of the northwest and the three in Henderson, and only 24 to New Lynn.

          Even if you managed to capture every single work trip through to Henderson and New Lynn from the whole area around Huapai, with an unprecedented 100% modeshare across the day, you’d still not even quarter fill a single train each day. Naturally people travel for many more reasons that just commuting to work, but it does indicate the quatum of travel we’re actually talking about here.

        3. No one doubts that a train from Huapai to Henderson would be faster, the question is how many would use it.

          Also as it stands currently you’d need to add at least 5 minutes for a transfer from diesel train to electric one at Swanson plus I don’t think the line from Waitakere to Huapai is in great condition so decent speeds might not be achievable.

          1. Don’t think the transfer is such a big deal, the same is required at Westgate even in New Network, exception of express. Pretty much everyone I know in Huapai, Taupaki and Waimauku area have told me they would definitely take PT if there was a train from Huapai, some work in New Lynn, Morningside and Newmarket – the travel time by bus currently isn’t suitable and requires a multitude of transfers. Don’t know anyone there who travels to the Shore with exception of a girl who goes to the shore to study. The other advantage is negating the need to drive, and from that distance it really is a relief not having to be behind the wheel for 2 hours every day (back and forth).

            Back when there was a trial most of them were unaware and when I showed them the timetable they laughed as the timing of the SINGLE morning trip provided back then would of been completely useless to them.

          2. Peter – informal surveys aren’t a credible input into transport planning decisions I’m afraid. First and foremost, there is a huge difference between what people say they will do and what they actually do.

            In practice, when presented with the choice of A) a train every 30 minutes that takes 55 minutes and requires a transfer versus B) a direct bus every 10 minutes that takes 40-45 minutes most people choose B. Study after study shows people’s demand for PT is sensitive to changes in wait-time, the need to transfer, and the travel-time.

            Yes mode also has some impact, i.e. people have a preference for rail, although this impact is small when you’re comparing to a high quality bus service.

    2. yes some people seem to forget the fact that state highway 16 between westgate & Helensville is single lane most of the way so its all very well having a bus lane down the motorway, but you have to get to the motorway first.

  13. Riverhead have zero buses. Yes your heard it – nothing! We used to have 1 bus in and 1 bus out everyday under the old Rodney system, but that was removed due to insufficient patronage. Of course there were insufficient patrons – it left Riverhead for the CBD around 8.20 and returned just before 5pm – you couldnt work an 8 hour day in the city. The only people who could possibly use it were the odd Uni student. Lets hope we get this right this time around. Stop forcing our entire community to drive everywhere.

    1. Completely agree here Claire, its shocking that a town of such a size has absolutely no bus service. In fact it came up as the first “Response to key issues” in the Western New Network consultation.

      AT:
      “Requests for service to Riverhead: There are currently no services to Riverhead, and there were no services proposed as part of this consultation. As the area develops further,
      bus services may be considered”

      1. You don’t think it’s simply a matter of budget? And the fact that there’s many other parts of the city where additional PT investment is required and/or provides more benefit?

        Really just comes down to priorities …

  14. As expected, narrow minded, short sighted desk jockeys counting beans instead of working for the people who pay their salary’s……..so glad I have to ride my bike to work, it takes me 50 mins riverhead to parnell….find me public transport that quick, its the same at peak in the car……

  15. Nick R – the 2013 census may be the most recent but it is now hopelessly out of date. Traffic in the NW is noticeably up this year compared to last year, which was noticeably up on the year before. The NW motorway is a carpark not long after 6am and even trips after 8.30 are unpredictable – they could take 40 minutes into town or they could take 90 minutes for no particular reason (i.e. no evidence of an accident). I used to be able to travel outside of peak times – leave home at 6.30 or 8.30 and get a decent run into town, but no more.

    Public transport? There is none in Riverhead. I drive 15-20 minutes to the ferry in West Harbour or to the bus in Albany. Patronage on the ferry is also noticeably up on last year – we need more times, later in the evening and something on the weekends. If you want more than one person in a family to use the ferry, the price has to drop. It costs as much as commuting from Waiheke (with a monthly concession).

    1. travel demands may have increased (they have elsewhere too), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that travel patterns have changed. In fact, I’d expect the development at Hobsonville to be quite city focussed actually: Hence support busway development over rail.

      1. You have evidence of large or growing traffic flows from Huapai to Henderson? All the evidence I can see is that the traffic growth from the northwest is primarily down SH16 and across the upper harbour to Albany.

  16. It is a shame the introduction off commercial property along Hobsonville rd was not better planned.
    If they ran a new road along side the motorway with an entrance from Brigham creek runabout to allow access to the land, and with 1 row of houses to be built along hobsonville road on the commercial side. this would have left residential to what it is not mix trucks and school kids.

    With all access to the commercial from the parallel rd there would be no major truck movement on Hobsonville rd therefore no widening

  17. I am reading nonsense here by those pedaling the $500? million busway (which would only run at 80kmph like on the shore).

    Points by those anti-rail ( at marginal cost in comparison and available now) are “one train every 30 minutes with a transfer or a direct bus every 10 minutes”. Clearly the person who wrote that thinks there will be direct bus every 10 minutes from Huapai to CBD. But there won’t be and a “nasty” transfer will be required for those buses that do run in most cases.

    I liked the statements that “only 9 or 18(or whatever) people want to go to Henderson from Huapai each day”. Clearly that person as not actually watched bus boardings in Huapai from early morning until midday to see a lot more than that catch the buses( poorly timetabled at that) at present. You can forget looking at current boardings as a measure for the future. If we did that we would never have reopened the Onehunga railway. Very pleased the CBT and Cr. Mike Lee never listened to those sorts of comments.

    Other comments about “the track condition can’t cope with speed”. If passenger trains ran on it then there would be more emphasis on the quality of the line standard. This is no arguement not to run trains. That same arguement would have stopped the Onehunga line being reopened as it was in poor condition… until central Govt was forced to do something about it with public pressure.

    The PTUA meeting last year had over 120 people in attendance and was well publicised. However, no one from transportblog bothered to venture out West to the meeting. That in a nut-shell worries me as it shows that there seems to a lack of any real concern about the transport needs beyond the Congestion Free map. But a good map is never fixed in design.

    PTUA strongly advocates for both rail now and busway when the $500? million is found to build it. That is because the PTUA understands both rail and buses are needed because the public want to reach different destinations, not solely CBD focused. But it seems none of the commentators on this blog live out West to fully understand the situation at hand and when Christine Rose(Chair of the PTUA) offered to write a piece for this blog it was not permitted. That mutes a balanced discussion on this “testy” subject.

    1. Hi Jon,

      AT’s New Network shows a scheduled bus service (W2) operating every 15 minutes all day, all week between Westgate and the City with peak headways likely to approach 3-5 minutes. The map also shows some of these services starting from Huapai (W78, W79, and W79X). These services will be complemented by connecting bus services from surrounding areas, and park and ride close on the northern edge of Westgate. As demand from Huapai develops, then the number of express services can be increase – or the frequent Westgate service can be extended to provide an all-day service.

      You can see the network here: https://at.govt.nz/media/1144317/West-Auckland-final-routes-for-implementation-map.pdf. It will be implemented by mid-2017, i.e. soon.

      As Westgate develops, demand grows, and bus priority is implemented on SH16, then I would expect bus service levels to increase accordingly. This could include extending some peak services from Westgate to Huapai, thereby removing the need for passengers to connect at Westgate. This is very similar to the development of the NEX, which has recently been extended to Silverdale. In the short term, however, it seems reasonable to build patronage from Westgate because that’s where most commercial development is happening. Westgate is also the focus of residential development in this area in the short to medium term.

      In terms of infrastructure, I note that bus lanes on the SH16 causeway are being implemented now by NZTA, and I’d expect the rest of the bus priority to be built in stages as demand builds. The bus interchanges are more complex and might incur higher costs, but from a back of the envelope calculation (e.g. comparing to Northern Busway) I wouldn’t expect them to cost anywhere near $500 million. More like $100 million.

      In contrast, rail offers a maximum headway of 30 minutes, and even that would seem to come at a relatively high cost per passenger given the low demand for travel from this area to Henderson/New Lynn, and the fact that the bus provides a better (faster, more frequent, no transfer)) option for those who are travelling to the city. In fact I’d expect the operating costs of running a train every 30 minutes to exceed the costs of running a bus every 5-10 minutes and that’s before capital costs for rail are considered. And the fare revenue earned on buses would be higher, because it would have higher patronage from it’s ability to meet demand for travel to the city centre.

      I was not aware that Christine Rose has approached the blog with a guest post, and will follow up with the other moderators as to what the story is. The only reason we normally wouldn’t run with a guest post is if it didn’t meet the required quality standards, but in this case we’d normally advise the author accordingly, e.g. suggest some changes, and invite them to re-submit – rather than simply rejecting the post outright.

      Finally, I note that criticizing the blog in the comments threads violates our user guidelines; we’d prefer that if you had something to say about the blog more generally that you put it in an email to us. We’re open to constructive criticism, but general moaning in the comments thread is off-topic and boring – hence it is strongly discouraged.

      Cheers,
      Stuart

      1. The W2 frequencies have little to nothing to do with Huapai/Kumeu frequency, W78/W79 services will be timed to make the transfer anyway – Much like the current 060 to 080/090 but of cause the W2 will be more direct. W78/W79 is looking at hourly frequency for Huapai/Kumeu and the same 2 hour frequency for anyone beyond. Also once again we are not talking about removing buses, nobody has ever mentioned removing the bus services, just that rail is an option here and a good one as we have pointed out time and again. I don’t see why there is so much reluctance here to get behind making use of a right of way public transit corridor that could be up and running fairly quickly and has huge support from the community.

  18. All this talk of a busway running from Westgate along SH16 into the city is well and good (even though they will not begin widening the section between Te Atatu and Lincoln Road until 2017), but does nothing to address the current issues confronting the North West (IE: The area beyond Westagte). As a number of people here have testified, the volumes of vehicular traffic in Kumeu / Huapai are reaching crisis levels already. Have a read of any issue of the Nor West News from the last 12 months to see the problems we are experiencing. The number of traffic accidents has almost tripled in the last 12 months due to poor road planning, traffic management and volumes.

    We essentially have no bus service worth the name at the moment and if public transport modes are not available when people move into / begin to occupy a region it is very difficult to encourage them to shift modes as Transport Blog has often pointed out. IE: No bus or rail service = get a car, keep on driving it. You can expect to see at least 2-3 vehicles per household in the Huapai / Kumeu area due to the lack of public transport and infrastructure. Paula Bennett was recently claiming success in having over 400 homes built in the area. Thats at least 1,500 extra cars on the road.

    Westgate has no park and ride facility and the Westgate group are obviously not keen to have buses in their glorified car parks (I mean shopping centres). Case in point from Radio NZ.

    “A seemingly minor decision to alter an intersection leading out of the Westgate shopping centre, will add a small truckload of carbon to the city’s footprint this year.
    For a decade, buses leaving Westgate transport hub for the CBD, North Shore or Hobsonville, used a bus-priority traffic light, giving them a right-turn straight onto Hobsonville Road.
    Following the opening of a new commercial centre opposite Westgate, Auckland Transport planners decided the bus right-turn would inconvenience traffic on a busier Hobsonville Road, and put the buses on a 1km detour out the back of the shopping centre.”

    This decision was reached in consultation with Westgate who refused to let go of a traffic island with some signage on it. It is believed this will add over 1 million miles annually to bus movements to and from Westgate (couldn’t find the RNZ audio where this is explained.

    Despite the objections to rail – A lot of the infrastructure is already there. Stations were upgraded some years prior for the “trial service”. The rail system takes patrons to a lot of destinations that require would not multiple bus changes (My mother would love to be able to take 2 relatively quick trains to Onehunga, rather than a series of slow erratic bus hops across Auckland). I would be able to travel directly to work in Newmarket on a mostly reliable service which is not subject to the vagaries of traffic jams. Then there is the psychological difference between rail and bus travel – On trains you don’t end up ripping your hair out as you watch time disappear in unexpected delays in a wide range of flavours.

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