It feels like Auckland Transport live in a strange world some times. Just days after the council made it abundantly clear that they supported the Victoria St Linear Park and wanted the agreed City Centre Master Plan implemented, AT have launched consultation for the Midtown bus route, which if they go with their preferred option, openly defies the council by preventing the Linear Park from being possible.

The Midtown bus route runs along Wellesley and new bus network being rolled out will see it become one of the busiest bus routes through the city. Some of the key bus routes that will use it include the Northern Express 2 (NEX2 – which will likely be busier than the existing NEX), the outer link and buses from busy isthmus routes like New North Rd, Sandringham Rd and Remuera Rd. So many buses are expected to use it that through the central section all four traffic lanes are planned to be a transit mall, dedicated to people and buses – this is one of the key routes that would be almost impossible to operate if the NZTAs Advanced Bus Solution became a reality.

These are the bus routes following the New Network consultation.

All of the plans prior to the formal New Network consultation had always shown buses on Wellesley but none on Victoria St – I’ll go into a little more about the reason for this later in the post. One of those plans was the City East-West Transport Study (CEWT) by Auckland Transport, released in 2014. It showed Wellesley St one of two key east-west bus corridors with no buses on Victoria St.

The CEWT study was based on the original plans for the New Network, as shown below.

On Friday they quietly started consultation on the midtown route and it has shades of the Mt Albert Town Centre consultation all over it, with a lot of very selective information presented. To start with, there’s a lot of positive and fluffy information, urban issues wash if you will.

Auckland’s city centre is changing rapidly, and we are working with Auckland Council to create a thriving city centre, supported by frequent, efficient transport for people walking, cycling and travelling by bus.

On to the actual consultation, AT say the inbound route is straightforward, buses heading to the city will head north down Symonds St and turn left into Wellesley St, like many buses already do today. The issue comes in how AT deal with buses heading out of the city and they’re consulting on three options.

Option 1

Their first, and preferred option is as shown on the New Network map at the top of the post but in our view, is the worst option presented. Outbound buses would use Victoria St, Bowen Ave, Waterloo Quadrant and then Symonds St.

This is a route currently used by buses and is notorious for delays, especially on Bowen Ave for which there doesn’t appear to be any space to add in bus lanes unless AT were to eat into Albert Park.

Bowen Ave is a common trouble spot for buses

AT say the advantages of this route are that the bus infrastructure (bus stops) is already in place and that it provides more coverage of Auckland University. But, on the first point, the other options either already have the infrastructure in place, or it is being installed for other routes anyway. As for coverage, just because a route covers more area, it doesn’t necessarily make it better. Splitting the routes by direction makes them less legible, especially for unfamiliar users ensuring no matter what. Further, a longer route, like suggested here, is likely to be considerably slower than the more direction option which has the strong potential to put off people from using the bus so can work against public transport use. This is something AT acknowledge as a disadvantage, along with that it kills the Linear Park.


  • Being less direct, this is a slightly longer route, with some parts of the route (such as Bowen Avenue) will be challenging to install bus lanes on.
  • This route will make it difficult to reduce the number of lanes on Victoria Street, as part of a planned future upgrade of Victoria Street.

It would be interesting to know how much more it would cost to run all of those buses on this longer, slower route.

Option 2

This is the best option and would see buses use Wellesley St both ways and isthmus buses would access Symonds St using the ramps up from Wellesley St.

AT say the benefits of the route are that it is simple and direct, which also means that it would be faster, therefore helping public transport to be more useful and attractive to a wider selection of the public.

As for its disadvantages, two relate to the fact it would use the ramps up to Symonds St, both of which seem dubious at best.

  • This route would require buses to use an uphill slip lane to reach Symonds Street, and introducing more buses to this narrow, pedestrian-filled area would be challenging.
  • This route would require new traffic lights to enable buses to turn right out of the slip lane into Symonds Street, which would delay other buses using Symonds Street.

Why would buses on a road here be an issue for pedestrians on the footpath. Perhaps more importantly, how many pedestrians even use that footpath. Any coming from south of Wellesley are more likely to use the footpath on the opposite ramp while those coming from the University of Auckland are more likely to get to Wellesley St via Princes St or get to the city via Albert Park. As for traffic lights, are right turning buses any different from those that use Wakefield St today. What’s more they already exist at this intersection to provide pedestrian crossings and for traffic turning right onto the westbound ramp. In the future, especially after Light Rail or advanced bus options get taken up, there won’t be as many buses on Symonds St north of Wellesley.

In addition, they claim that there is reduced coverage for those in the northern end of UoA but equally this option provides greater coverage for both students at AUT and workers in and around Wellesley St.

Lastly, they say a disadvantage is that buses would will need to turn and layover near Victoria Park. Why is this a disadvantage for option 2 and 3 but not option 1. Further, from what it appears, this option starts at Fanshawe St which gives greater coverage to Wynyard Quarter which was one of the reasons for sending buses down Wellesley St in the first place. Option 1 only appears to start from Victoria St which makes it much less likely people from Wynyard would use it.

Option 3

Option is similar to Option 2 in using Wellesley St but east of Queen St would turn down Mayoral Dr and then use Wakefield St to access Symonds St.

AT say this route is the shortest and as mentioned earlier, buses already use Wakefield to access Symonds St. The disadvantages are that it is much further away from the UoA campus, would require a right turn to Mayoral Dr, affecting inbound buses and like Option 2, they say buses would need to lay over near Victoria Park

Finally, as mentioned, other routes will be using Wellesley St too and that need infrastructure, most notably the NEX2. It will travel and likely terminate under the Symonds St underpass where AT plan a new major bus stop – but it’s not clear yet where buses would then go to turn around. Adding that bus station is going to require major change in the area anyway so adding things like traffic lights for Option 2 would be minor in comparison.

By now you might be wondering the real reason for all of this. In short, it’s because the University of Auckland have been waging a war against buses going past their campus for a number of years now, as well as many key parts of the City Centre Master Plan, including the Linear Park and even making Quay St more pedestrian friendly. Below are a series of letters between Auckland Transport and the University I received some years ago, as part of a LGOIMA request. As you can see the last one is dated May 2014 and you can be guaranteed the issue has been dragging on since then.

As I understand it, the opposition by the University eventually lead to senior leadership at AT deciding to ditch Option 2, which is the formal New Network consultation in late 2015 shifting buses to Victoria St.

14 October 2013 – University to Auckland Transport

18 October 2013 – Auckland Transport to University

11 November 2013 – University to Auckland Transport

10 December 2013 – Auckland Transport to University

21 May 2014 – University to Auckland Transport

27 May 2014 – University to Auckland Transport

It’s scandalous that such major changes to key, publicly consulted, city centre plans have been allowed to be undermined, behind closed doors. So now that there is an opportunity to have a say it’s important we do so. If you want the Linear Park, make sure you submit on Option 2.

Auckland Transport have two public sessions planned to discuss the route, they are

  • Auckland University, main quad – Wednesday 5 April and Wednesday 12 April, 12.30pm – 3pm
  • AUT, Hikuwai Plaza, Thursday 6 April and Thursday 13 April, 12.30pm – 3pm
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  1. The issue here is not the benefits (or lack thereof) of one option vs. the other.

    It’s AT’s wilful disobedience to AC’s direction.

    Goff needs to send a message. How many people can he sack?

    1. None, as AT is – by government decree – pretty independent. Thank John Key and Rodney Hide.

      He can however put a lot of pressure on the AT board, and in other ways. But the direct influence is very limited.

      1. Think they may be able to lockbox funds, also technically they can set employment policy at AT so can make Executive Positions subject to AC vote.

  2. Great post. Yep totally outrageous that it seems the University can scuttle the Linear Park behind closed doors.

    What a corrupt disgrace.

  3. What AT are pushing here is one of the classic ‘always avoid’ transit patterns: The spilt route. Here is Jarrett Walker on the issue:

    ‘However, if you care about people getting where they’re going, the one-way split reduces the area served by a transit line. That’s because for a two-way line to be useful, you have to be able to walk to both directions of a service. The further apart the two directions are, the smaller the area (light blue) that will have a reasonable walk to both of them.’

    OK Wellesley and Vic/Bowen/Waterloo aren’t so far apart to be completely unwalkable, but as this route is supposed to be all about the Learning Quarter and Wellesley goes beautifully right through the middle of UofA and AUT, so there is the opportunity to deliver both directions of the service on Wellesley and it is the dedicated transit route, why on earth would any network designer even toy with sending half the route on a meandering traffic clogged hill climb elsewhere?

    Why are AT pushing such an illegible and certain to be unreliable and therefore expensive to run deviation for their buses? And why do they want to send buses into streets full of parking building and motorway feeder traffic? This is not only bad for bus users, it will certainly be bad for drivers, especially those using Waterloo Quadrant to get to Grafton Gully, and of course it’s terrible for the most important city user; the pedestrian, because this bus route is their big reason for fighting to downscale the Linear Park and insist of four lanes on Victoria St.

    Bad for buses, drivers, and pedestrians: Three out of three AT; is this really the best you can do here?

    1. Another aspect of how messy and muddle-headed AT’s preferred option is here is that this is the very organisation that impatiently wants to remove general traffic from Queen St with light rail, as we all do, so they must know this means all Shortland St traffic must then be heading up the hill to Waterloo Quadrant, instead of rat running down the hill and winding through Queen, as many do now.

      The functionality and clarity of leaving Victoria St East/Bowen/Waterloo for general traffic, and keeping buses on Wellesley in this future pattern is obvious. As are the advantages of starting immediately as you mean to go on. Is there really such little forward thinking going on?

      This is what is so baffling, the preferred option doesn’t even prioritise drivers; it’s just a dog’s dinner.

  4. Well, that exchange of letters from McCutcheon to AT goes some way to explain why I found it impossible to get a bus from Symonds St near the Uni over to Wynyard Quarter the other day – because the Uni is actively discouraging AT from connecting across town. There are some certain fundamental principles at stake here – on the ways to plan a Public Transport system. Should the routes be laid out for the maximum benefit for the users or for the city? Is it better to take passengers from the bottom of one hill to the top of another, or just hover around the mid-point of both? And, what I suspect is being acted out here with Victoria St, is it better to have all buses go on one route, or have some routes split into two smaller halves?

    1. It’s better to have buses in both directions on the same road, because as Matt points out, it makes it easier: if you’re unfamiliar, you can figure that if the buses on one side of the road aren’t going the way you want to go, then the buses on the other side of the road will be going the way you want to go (like at a 2-track, 2-platform suburban train station). If buses in the direction you want to go were hidden away on some other road, how are you to know, so you could be waiting on the other side of the road all night for a bus that doesn’t go by you, and you may never find the bus stop for the bus you want on some other road.

      Public transport needs to be simple and really easy and intuitive to use, not difficult and mysterious or secretive. (Surely the experts at AT know this, which is why it boggles the mind that they prefer Option 1 – ?!)

  5. I like how they’re presenting ‘poor coverage of the north end of uni’ as a huge problem. Don’t we have integrated fares now? If it’s raining or people otherwise don’t feel like a max ten-minute stroll from law school, they can get on an Anzac Ave-Symonds St bus for no extra cost.

    I also don’t understand a) what the uni’s problem is with buses (how do they think their students get there?) and b) why they don’t have an equally large problem with buses on Waterloo Quadrant.

    1. agree with all three of your comments:
      1. The northern end of the university will be covered by buses operating on Symonds Street.
      2. The objections of UoA to buses on Wellesley suggests they are completely out of touch with the needs of their students. It’s somewhat embarrassing to think UoA (my alma mater) is run by people who don’t want to make it easier for students and staff to access their campus by public transport, and consider their preferences to be sufficiently important to trump the needs of the wider city centre. All this has made me rather glad that I took my graduate studies overseas, and that my research is not supporting UoA! (as an aside, I’d encourage others to do the same).
      3. Buses on Waterloo Quadrant and Symonds would seem likely to have a far larger impact on UoA’s campus than buses turning right from Wellesley. The former alignment basically encircles UoA’s campus with buses. For the life of me I can’t figure out what they are thinking, and I think it’s all going to go very pear-shaped for them, even if their preferred option wins out (that is, it’s a dud of an option that makes many of their problems worse).

    2. From their 21 May 2014 letter

      – They feel that busses on the up-ramp will interfere with deliveries and maintenance access
      – They worry that busses idling on the upramp waiting for the intersection will cause vibration issues for scientific equipment
      – They note the poor coverage of north campus.
      – Concern about bus congestion on the upramp and southern Symonds st, and vehicle movements on Wellesley st

      1. — Buses on Victoria, Waterloo, and Symonds will have larger impacts on more university accessways (e.g. access to Philosophy Building) than Wellesley Street ramp
        — The accessway is accessible to large trucks. As far as I know, large trucks also cause vibrations when they idle.
        — Coverage of the north campus is still provided by services operating on Symonds Street. I also question whether operating one-way services in this area would improve coverage.
        — I suspect retaining buses on Wellesley would greatly improve congestion, because it enables better coordination of traffic signals on Wellesley with Symonds, Queen, and Albert.

        Ultimately, the aguments put forward by UoA seem extremely uninformed at best.

        1. Yes agree, seems uninformed, buses around the loop surely worse. Puffing up Bowen, combined with the car parking buildings traffic spewing out toxic fumes. Is AT concerned about losing layover stops on Victoria St W?

        2. I think the 21 May letter from the UoA is reasonable in its objections for the University’s quality of place. I’m surprised that I agree with McCutcheon!

          1. The pedestrian effects refer to the Symonds St ridge line where the main egress for the south-western quadrant of the campus is located. This is a very busy pedestrian route. Should they just suck up the pollution and pedestrian delays?

          2. As for local air quality, these wont be electric buses when the new network begins and probably wont be for a decade or more. Transferring the Waterloo Qt buses of the new network to the slip lane results additional 50 diesel buses an hour using this ramp from 7 am-7 pm. It will be ~100 buses from 4 pm to 6 pm. This would easily be an order of magnitude increase in heavy vehicle numbers each day on this lane (it would be closer to TWO orders of magnitude, really).

          3. There is a (probably negotiable) safety issue with the Faculty of Science deliveries (mostly hazardous goods) on what will be equal to a busy busway.

          4. As for the north campus coverage: There is a travel time and quality difference between 10 mins downhill and 10 mins uphill, especially when the Wellesley corner bus stop you are walking to is overcrowded, inadequately weather-proofed and the buses are full.

          That said, option two is the best of these options, but it’s just not a great option for the reasons given above.

          Cheapness appears to be an important NZ value, and that is why the university is right IMO to object to the best option. Otherwise there will be no mitigation of air-pollution and pedestrian obstruction on this route for a very long time.

        3. I’m thinking it’s their delivery route they are most concerned about possibly? Seems how they feel they were not properly consulted early on which has given rise to all this, or perhaps how it was handled, but could be just they want their way and are miffed. Can the sensitive scientific equipment be moved elsewhere? My count is 31.5 extra buses per hr in morning peak difference not 50.

        4. As others have observed isn’t the reply from UoA very focussed on their own institution despite using the phrase Learning Quarter? After all isn’t Wellesley St exactly down the middle of the two campuses in the LQ, rather than at one edge? Whereas Waterloo Quadrant is way over at the northern edge of the UoA Campus? To serve the LQ in total and most legibly isn’t Wellesley St obviously better?

          Vibration is surely as pavement engineering issue, or at least can surely be minimised with some work. And if AT do this for their buses won’t that also benefit UoA as it will also reduce any such effects from delivery heavy vehicles?

          50 buses an hour is a lot on either route, and it is very hard to see these working at all on Vic St East, Bowen, and Waterloo Quadrant, especially in the evening peak, whth all the cars that head to Alten Rd. On the longer and more traffic constrained route there is therefore likely to be terrible congestion and reliability issues. I am surprised AT are even proposing this. This will cost a great deal more to operate buses there.

          As for the pedestrian issue, again, using the Wellesley St slip lane the buses conflict with fewer students and at fewer places than the alternative. Count the ped heavy intersections on Option 1: Vic/Kitchener, Bowen/Princess, Symonds /Waterloo, and Symonds/Wellesley. Option2 only has the last of these…

        5. McCutcheon is a master of spin. I wouldn’t necessarily believe a word he says. The vibration of sensitive equipment is most likely a red herring.

        6. 1. Fair point, but as tradeoff for that, there’ll be fewer buses going through the Alfred/Symonds lights, which IME has just as much pedestrian usage.

          2. There’s going to be the same number of buses whatever happens (maybe more with the Victoria St option, since they’ll need to account for delays on Bowen St and Waterloo Quad), so air pollution between the two options is a wash. As for pedestrian delays at the top of Wellesley St, with no need for cars or buses to turn right into Wellesley St, that phase could be done away with, making the delays no worse than they are now.

          3. Safety issues when Wellesley St is a busway will probably be overall less than they are now, with buses and general traffic. As you say, this can probably be worked through.

          4. North campus coverage is provided by the ability to transfer. Plenty of buses will still be going down Symonds St and Anzac Ave. And at present, if you’re walking from law school you still have to climb the steepest bit to get to Waterloo Quadrant. If you’re not walking from law school, the gradient is so gentle it barely qualifies as uphill.

          Air pollution is probably the fairest point that McCutcheon makes, but the solution for that is electric buses and upgrading some services to LRT, not making the bus network less effective for everyone in order to shift some of the pollution a block further north.

        7. Guy M: I tend to agree that vibration is a red herring – otherwise, why aren’t delivery trucks and buses rumbling down Symonds St past Science also a problem?

        8. Well, that exchange was very clarifying.

          Grant, I think you are right that my numbers are in error. I went back to the proposal brochure and got totals of 60 buses per hour at peak and 28 buses all day through Waterloo Qt. The final plan is more conservative and cuts that back to four routes at 35 peak and 14 all day. I guess they got a lot of negative feedback on that.

          Guy M: Having a busway negatively affect the university’s research effort should be their strongest argument against it, but I wouldn’t take their word for it either. It’s a technical question that’s too easy to use as a brush off by admins to preserve the status quo. If vibration is a problem there are even some marketed solutions for common spectrometers like NMR that in use at the School of Chemical Sciences. It will cost money.

        9. Yes 34.5 buses it should be – I just fixed the linked Dropbox file, I had taken out the 701 as it says “Peak services to continue to Wynyard Quarter”, but of course that doesn’t preclude it going back via their silly planned Waterloo Quad route.

  6. I’d be interested to know what AUT admin and student orgs think about all of this palava. Basically, UoA is – by pushing for option 1 – reducing public transport access to AUT’s campus. I wouldn’t be very hapoy about that if I was in AUTs shoes!

  7. Aucklands traffic problem is solved.
    We substitute cars for buses
    The finally agreed routes will be busways in central city and plus Dominion Road busway to the airport.
    Now who is going to tell all the car drivers……AT or the Council?

  8. Out of my usual pattern. I wished using buses, to go first to the Art Gallery from the North Shore and thence to Newmarket so caught a completely full 881 bus to the top of Wellesley Street and some three hours later from the same stop went on to Newmarket.

    The point I want to make is that it was so easy purely because of the number of route options passing that stop which would take me to Newmarket. Hence no delay!

    My experience was absolutely brilliant so please AT, have as many route options available on the one route i.e. Wellesley Street. Don’t have routes wandering all over the place where it is just too hard for casual users to know where to go.

    This is, of course, a big plus of railed systems. You can easily see where they are jolly well going to………

  9. Is there a reason why there is a focus on getting all bus, trains, etc into the center of town? Given the CRL, which is essentially a rapid link into the CBD from the edges.

    I reflect on my experience in Budapest where most of the bus or tram routes went though CBD, rather than terminated in the CBD.

    There is talk in other articles about too many buses in the CBD causes congestion and issues with bus stop placement.

    1. Most of these buses come from either the North Shore the Inner West or the isthmus, which means there first interaction with the rail network is in the CBD anyway

      1. But why do these need to terminate in the CBD?

        Part of the overall focus is developing a liveable high density urban city center. Alot of the strategies that are been worked on now will probably stay in place for a long time and affect follow on development.

        If we replace the car parking in the center of town with bus parking. Is that just a step sideways?

        1. Because it would mean AT would need much higher/longer level of priority for buses and as you can see from above post they tend to pander to special interest groups who would fight anything like for example that gets in the way of said groups precious parking or subjective view that Buses make new building bad etc. etc.

  10. Part of my submission
    Public Space Improvements.

    There is already an operative City Centre Master Plan. Transport planning is a subordinate but important component of this master plan.
    The question above belongs to onward development of the City Master Plan not a bus route submission.
    The fact that that bus routes are being considered through Victoria Street which are in direct conflict with a linear park on that street which is a central plank of the City Centre Master Plan is of extreme concern.
    It appears a blatant attempt by an unelected AT to usurp control from our elected council. At best it is a display of silo thinking that has bedeviled progress in Auckland and at worst it is deliberate insubordination.

  11. If we are building a linear park in Victoria st, we can still use option 1, but make the Victoria street one way only with 2 lanes.

    In that case we reduce 4 lanes into only 2 lanes and provide enough space for linear park

    I think one way also flows faster as the intersection can be more efficient.

    1. Both lanes would have to be bus-only to match the volume of inbound buses on Wellesley. Where do you picture cars etc going across the Queen St valley in your model?

  12. So the UoA invested millions in a science centre, and its equipment is able to be compromised by heavy vehicle traffic on the adjacent public road. If so someone seriously f***ed up, but that doesn’t make it ATs problem.

    1. Agree.

      And I suspect the argument about vibration is a load of tosh anyway. The road in question can be used by trucks now, which would conceivably cause similar if not more vibration than buses.

      Either way, and as you note, it’s not AT’s problem.

      1. I’d say it’s probably tosh too. It amazes me how people in positions of authority seem happy to make things up or exaggerate. Given they are apparently also concerned about general traffic on Wellesley St, I’d be interested to know how much of a fuss they kicked up when NZTA built on and off ramps to 3 different motorways on to Wellesley.

  13. AT need to start treating buses seriously. Would it be acceptable to have trains in one direction of the CRL stop at one station and in the other direction a completely different station? Would it be acceptable for cars to drive on the train tracks after 530pm? Would it be acceptable for everyone to pass by the train driver through a narrow door to get on? I doubt it. Why are buses treated so differently?

  14. Having been held up many times on outbound buses on Victoria St / Bowen Ave (especially on rainy days, and with no easy way to add bus lanes makes this route will always be a disaster), I was motivated enough to try and submit. But the submission form is even more of a disaster! Nowhere does it ask what your preferred option is! All it asks for is benefits / disadvantages / etc of each option, with the text boxes provided being so small you can’t see what you’ve written if you enter more than about 6 words … there is no attempt by AT, and seemingly no interest from AT, in determining which option is submitters’ preferred option.

  15. Since the Auckland Plan at least another 300,000 cars have descended on Auckland – the greening
    of Victoria St will create even more gridlock

      1. Has there been a drop in the inner CBD carparks? No. They have incrementally increased with very many converted from office space over the years. How many car parks in Wynyard Quarter? Mighty a.m queues turn right from Fanshawe into Daldy Must be 1000s of car parks there. I watch them as I await my bus to the Shore each morning. .

        1. Has there been a drop in city centre car parks? Yes. Many on street parks have made way for long overdue bus lanes, which of course enable thousands more people to access the city than parking for single occupant vehicles.

          It’s true that SkyCity is building hundreds of new spaces under its Convention Centre but as these are accessed from Nelson St, this actually aids taking cars out of the Queen St valley as drivers using this will remain out of the centre.

          Breathe deep, enjoy the vibrant new city. This change is for the better.

        2. And many surface lots in the city centre, especially at Wynyard have been built on with no parking in the new buildings.

          Also 300,000 cars have arrived in Auckland, how many have left; either to other regions or through de-registration?

  16. There are some fundamental issues with the Victoria Street route, most of which have already been canvassed – the use of split routes; the lack of any solution to the “challenge” of providing a Bowen Aavenue bus lane (ie take park land?); and the lack of any reference to the Victoria Street Linear Park proposal, consulted on and agreed as part of the Centre City Masterplan 2012 (the only reference is to a “planned future upgrade” of Victoria Street).

    I get all that, plus a lot besides but unfortunately I can’t retreive my submission to AT because once lodged (line by painful line), it is swallowed up once sent.

    However, one seriously significant point that does not appear to have been raised is that Albert Park, Bowen Street, Waterloo Quadrant and a number of buildings affected by the proposed Victoria Street route are included in the Princes Street Historic Heritage Area, which, if you look at Map, shows its extent. The proposed bus route has the potential seriously to impact on this Historic Area (described in the Unitary Plan as being of “exceptional overall historic heritage value”) and its buildings, including Albert Park and its Gate House, the former Synagogue, the Northern Club, Courtville, The High Court Building, Old Government House and St Andrews Church.

    This factor alone should be enough to eliminate AT’s “preferred option” and Auckland University should be embarrassed at trying to promote this option ahead of protecting its recognised heritage area for spurious reasons such as (unproven) issues with access to its Science Centre and concerns about vibration and pollution. One would have thought that a $300m upgrade would have ensured that its ‘sensitive and fragile scientic equipment’ would be able to withstand external traffic effects.

    1. Buses having been using that route for at least 50 years Rebecca. Tell me what is the connection between Albert & Victoria Parks? One recreational & the other a sports ground?

      1. There is no current connection between Albert and Victoria Parks, that’s the point. The Central City Masterplan seeks to redress that, by making a green connection, or “linear park”, reducing the dominance of the motor vehicle along Victoria Street, and increasing the influence of pedestrians, cyclists, businesses and cafes etc, with “fewer lanes for vehicles, widser footpaths, more green amenity and slower traffic movement.” (refer the Masterplan, at 06, the Green Link, p88) The introduction of this bus route is inimical to this vision.

        Add to that the fact that the Victoria Street route runs through the Princes Street Historic Heritage Area – if we are serious about these exceptional areas, we should be seeking ways to enhance them by reducing the impact of traffic on the roads and complementing historic buildings and character with appropriate road use and treatment.

        1. I think to define the parks as ‘recreational’ or ‘sports ground’ as being either/or is a little misleading and limiting – although Albert Park is loved as a traditional Victorian place of passive recreation and enjoyment, it does not prevent its use as a place of informal sporting activity – yoga, training sessions, walking, running, and so on, blurring the lines as to what users see as the Park’s attraction. And whilst Victoria Park is different – it is flat, it is highly valued as a venue for organised organised sport, it is also a much loved place of passive recreation, with its beautiful trees, playground and highly successful skateboard park. It provides a beautiful environment to cycle through. However, this discussion is largely irrelevant. The whole point of the Linear Park is to emphasise Auckland’s green spaces and to seek to strengthen them through green connections. And yes, I enjoy both parks. A lot. I am an active walker and cyclist and I treasure all our green spaces and give silent thanks to the foresight of our founders and forebears. I only hope that our descendants think the same.

        2. The streets are the biggest area of public in the city. And by improving the place quality of every street possible we can make a more park-like city. Even better when we do it on the scale of the Victoria St plan, and even even better, when this links two established and well used quality open spaces like the two named for the Victorian royal couple.

          Time to re-link these places and this couple.

        3. Its also not just about connecting Victoria & Albert Park there is two Linear Parks in the CCMP as part of Move 6 – Green Stitch the second linear park will go on Daldy connecting Victoria Park to the proposed park where the silos currently are as part of stage 3 of Wynyard Quarter.

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