A newsletter update from Auckland Transport yesterday finally provided some news on the next stage of AMETI which will see significant improvements to public transport and active modes. This includes a busway between Panmure and Pakuranga and much improved walking and cycling facilities. AT say they’ve lodged the Notice of Requirement which means the process is finally moving forward again, a year after they announced the final design for the busway. The bad news is that while they’re now going through the NoR process, at this stage there will be no funding for the project till 2021 despite it being one of Auckland’s top transport priorities.
Significant progress has been made on the plans for major transport improvements between Panmure and Pakuranga.
We have lodged a Notice of Requirement (NoR) application to designate the route for the proposed Panmure to Pakuranga busway and other transport improvements.
The project includes the first section of New Zealand’s first urban busway, so buses can travel on congestion free lanes between Panmure and Pakuranga. It will allow quicker, more frequent and reliable buses on lanes separate to traffic, increasing public transport use.
The NoR process provides the opportunity for any member of the public to make a submission and be heard at an official hearing in front of independent commissioners. Based on current funding construction will begin in 2021, subject to approval of the NoR.
We are protecting the route to be ready for earlier construction if funding becomes available earlier.
There are four key areas to the Panmure to Pakuranga project
New Panmure intersection
One of the key reasons for building the new Te Horeta Rd in the first stage of AMETI (the road in the tunnel parallel to the train station) was to reduce the amount of traffic using the Panmure Roundabout. That is so the roundabout can be removed and replaced with a signalised intersection which better caters for buses and pedestrians. I imagine there are a lot of drivers who would be happy to see the back of that roundabout. On the northern side of the new busway there is a 4.3m shared path
The busway that starts at the train station will continue all the way down Lagoon Dr on the northern side, as does the shared path. The general traffic lanes will be reduced to one each way but AT say these will flow better thanks to the new intersection at Panumre.
New Panmure busway bridge
A new bridge will be built over the Tamaki River to the north of the current bridge and dedicated to buses and walking/cycling. That will leave the existing bridge for general traffic. The walking and cycling part of the bridge will be also be 4.3m wide and also have some viewing platforms.
The busway will continue on the northern side of the road all the way to Pakuranga with some of the local roads closed
For walking and cycling, on this side they will be separated out with 3m cycleway separated from the busway by a berm and 2m footpaths separated from the cycleway.
The full route is shown below.
Over the years AMETI has turned into a fairly good project and it’s good to see it progressing. East Auckland really could do with some much better PT. AT could also help in this regard by getting some bus lanes on Pakuranga Rd north of the town centre.
It would obviously also be good if the government were to provide funding to get the project going. This is a much more important project (in my view) than others being funded such as the East-West Link.
While the NoR has been lodged I’m not sure when it will be publicly notified. I imagine it won’t be too far away.