Today is the last day to submit on the consultation by Auckland Transport and the NZTA on what the call Transport for Future Urban Growth. Around two Hamilton’s worth of people/homes are expected to be added to Auckland’s fringes in the North, Northwest and South over the next 30 years as part of the council’s Future Urban Land Supply Strategy. To accommodate that there will need to be significant public investment all forms of infrastructure and the two transport agencies say they are trying to work out what high level transport infrastructure will be needed now so it can be used as part of their planning and funding processes.

If you haven’t already I’d suggest putting a submission in. At a high level my views

  1. It’s good that the networks generally have strong PT components in the three main areas of North, Northwest and South. The place shaping role of rapid transit is critical in these areas and early investment must go on rapid transit. If we don’t we’ll be encouraging these areas to develop in ways that make it much harder to retrofit good quality PT later and this new growth will be very auto-centric as a result.
  2. The roading networks are over the top and unnecessarily excessive. Peripheral areas are never going to have perfect transport conditions but it seems like the networks are aiming for that.

One thing this process does is highlight just how expensive greenfield development can be. Suggestions are that just these high level projects could cost around $8 billion all up or about $70,000 per dwelling and that doesn’t take into account the cost of local roads or other infrastructure that is needed to support development.

Below is a copy of my earlier post on the consultation (although the videos are new)

The websites for each of the three main areas also gives a little bit of information as to how they’ve responded to the feedback received and for each of the key areas there is also a more detailed map which is on the AT website. In all of the maps below the mode/intervention uses the same colour scheme, Red = Rail, Green = Bus, Blue = Road, Gold = Safety improvements.


In the south it’s good to see AT specifically mention electrification to Pukekohe as that was something no mention was made of in the earlier consultation. It’s something we can only hope gets the go ahead soon as it seems fairly critical to some of the other parts of the plan for the South including a bunch of new stations and better services. On the roads the massive Mill Rd corridor is set to march on all the way to Pukekohe. The biggest omission from compared to the first consultation seems to be an east-west route from Pukekohe to SH1.

In this transport network, a key focus is increasing access to public transport, with more capacity and a well-connected rapid transit network at its heart. This would include electric trains to Pukekohe, express trains, new stations and rapid transit links, for example between the airport, Manukau, Flat Bush and Botany and a high frequency bus route between Drury and Manukau.

The plan focuses on great access to jobs, town centres and recreation within south Auckland and links to the wider region.

Another key focus for the south would be an extension of the Mill Road corridor from Manukau to Papakura and Drury. This would help improve safety, provide improved access to new growth areas and provide an additional north-south route. Connected to the Mill Road corridor is a new route to Pukekohe to improve safety or reduce congestion on SH22. An interchange with SH1 will also be further investigated at Drury South.

We’ve also identified further work is needed on how better connections between Waikato and Auckland can be provided.

TFUG - Draft Preferred Plan - South


The North looks like a much bigger roads fest compared to the with almost all of the proposed roads from the earlier consultation included in this consultation. For PT the busway will be the heart of the system in the area and s being both physically extended by going to Grand Dr but also and with more stations too.

At the heart of the network is the extension of the rapid transit network (RTN) by linking Albany to Dairy Flat, Silverdale, Wainui and Grand Drive.

Additional stations along the RTN would become hubs for extended public transport services into the growth areas and Orewa, providing fast and efficient access to employment, town centres and residential areas.

Dedicated walking and cycling networks linking to public transport hubs would provide a range of options to get to work or for leisure. New and upgraded arterial roads running both eastwest and north-south would improve connections and safety through the area as well.

Capacity would also be increased on State Highway 1 (SH1). An interchange incorporating both Dairy Flat and Penlink will be investigated to see if it would alleviate access from bottlenecks at Silverdale further north.

TFUG - Draft Preferred Plan - North


Like the others it appears that almost all of projects from the earlier consultation have made it through to this round. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is AT say they’ll do some more to look at the costs and benefits of extending rail to Huapai – although the website also suggests it could be compared to electric rail.

A key focus of the draft network is on providing high capacity public transport networks to move people efficiently and reliably between the places they want to go. This includes a rapid transport network (RTN) adjacent to the SH16 and SH18 to and from Kumeu, Westgate through to the city and the North Shore. Park and ride facilities are also identified to provide access to these services.

Further investigations are proposed on the extension of electric trains to Huapai to assess benefits and costs. Initial work shows a RTN along SH16 will have faster journey times and serve a wider catchment.

Another key focus is improving the safety and capacity of SH16 north of Westgate and the major arterials that intersect it. To help address congestion as the area grows and keep the Kumeu and Huapai centres as safe, local community-focused environments, an alternative through-route to SH16 is proposed.

A direct motorway to motorway connection between SH16 and SH18, improvements to Brigham Creek Road, and upgrade to the Coatesville-Riverhead Highway and arterial road networks in Whenuapai and Red Hills are also identified. The feasibility of a range of different types of interchanges at Northside Drive and Squadron Drive will also be investigated. Dedicated walking and cycling paths connecting to public transport and existing cycle routes also feature.

TFUG - Draft Preferred Plan - Northwest

Consultation closes at 4pm today.

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    1. Although I would like to see a southern connection made to Manukau I don’t think it will be happening anytime soon.

      The bus does make more sense in the short-to-mid term. Getting from the south to Manukau via a frequent and quick bus service would be great. I gave up catching the bus from Papakura to Manukau due to the buses taking around 30-40 minutes (frequently longer heading south) due to being stuck in traffic. I now take the train and do the transfer at Puhinui, and even with that transfer time it is around 30-40 minutes total commute time. The train just feels nicer as it is not stuck in traffic, although it essentially takes the same time.

      ‘IF’ a frequent and dedicated bus route could be provided for from Papakura to Manukau then that would ease some of the load on the trains and still provide for a quick and reliable service for those wanting Manukau as a destination (or transfer for other bus services).

  1. Why would you extend a RTN via the Warkworth bypass rather than into Warkworth? Doesn’t make any sense at all.

    1. I’m guessing for one or more of the following reasons:
      1) Cost – cheaper on greenfields land than through the existing town
      2) Speed – faster trip time along motorway than along existing road (and overall trip time especially for anyone North or East of Warkworth ie Wellsford or Matakana.
      3) Acess – Since most of the area doesn’t have PT in general (and would be unlikely to have the population or density for it) it means that most will be driving to the park n ride rather than walking/cycling. I guess there is the potential to have a town loop bus link into the park n ride.

      1. Disagree, vast majority will access by walking/cycling/PT like every other busway station (incl. Silverdale).

        1. That’s your prerogative however you mention Silverdale. Virtually no-one accesses Silverdale by cycle or walking and virtually all by driving or by PT. Warkworth does have more residential property near where a bus station would be located if it was in the town however it is still small numbers compared to those living in the adjacent areas. So vast majority will drive to it which is why it makes more sense outside of town. Warkworth also doesn’t have PT so that is the other difference to Silverdale.

          One other factor is that people catching a bus from Warkworth would likely be doing it around 7-7:30am so as to be on the Shore (or even city) in time for work. That would involve leaving home around 6:30am if not driving… which for a lot of the year means in darkness in a non-urban environment = not ideal. Likewise they would be getting back to Warkworth after 7pm.

  2. This new growth is going to be auto-centric. The pro-exurbia planning defines the next 25 years of Auckland growth as being very pro-car. The exurbs are to be small cities with low population density development and that doesn’t do well at supporting public transport.

    The PAUP means we need more roads and less PT going forward.

  3. I guess if you are going to have park in rides, splitting them up like that is better than one gigantic central one where so much congestion can be created.

  4. Interesting how the proposal-summaries for each area begin with green-sounding statements such as , “. . .A key focus is increasing access to public transport. . .”, or “. . .At the heart of the network is the extension of the rapid transit network . . .”. Then if you read further you realise that the bulk of the proposals concern road projects and the prominence given to PT is only a smokescreen.

    I have noticed the same tactic in Wellington where proposed major transport upgrades which are 90% roading, 10% other, are nevertheless touted as “Major improvements for public transport”.

    Misleading spin to deflect criticism of the real agendas, but I guess it is a good thing that the proponents realise that their true proposals are something to be ashamed of and therefore played-down. It is time this crock of a transport policy, foisted on us by hidden-agendas, is exposed for what it is.

    1. That’s right Dave, we learnt from the NZCID gentleman that the Western Ring Route will be “blown” within a decade, say by about 2025, so they say we need an Eastern Ring Route, which will presumably also be “blown” by about 2035, so we’ll need an Outer Western Ring Route, then an Outer Eastern Ring Route, then a Far Outer Western Ring Route, then a Far Outer Eastern Ring Route, and so on.

      Got to keep the “transport” (road-building, oil-using) industry growing at a rate that will pay the interest on the finance from the banks (about 7% = good).

      Rail won’t do because it doesn’t get so congested so quickly, so doesn’t need to be done again within a decade, and it lasts for over a century (less than 1% = bad).

      Maybe that’s why we have the paradox of doubling-down on roads: they return a short doubling period because they don’t work, so can support a high interest rate. Perhaps it’s all to do with the rule of 72.

  5. I gave them some feedback on the Southern and Northwestern. They give you a little box to fill in with what you don’t like that seems to have a word limit like a text message. I don’t for a moment suppose anyone will read it though.

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