Yesterday I presented our Congestion Free Network 2 to the council’s planning committee. You can see a copy of my presentation here (2.7MB).

Given there is only meant to be around five minutes allocated for speaking, I had to make the presentation fairly short so didn’t go into the issues in the depth we would in a blog post or if time wasn’t so critical. The key aspect we wanted the Councillors to take away from the CFN was that the plan needs to be embedded into the refreshed Auckland Plan the council will be working on.

Many of the Councillors had seen the CFN and were interested in it, Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore even mentioned he has a copy of it on the wall of his office.

You can watch a video of it below.

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  1. Was a good presentation yesterday Matt and heh with Deputy Mayor Cashmore.

    The re-prioritisation question was one head desk question but not the biggest of the day (that would be reserved for the Global Street Design presentation later on) but the Council and AT will report back on Auckland Plan Refresh Implementation soon none-the-less.

  2. Awesome Matt, well done! Great to see so much interest and such a favourable response. Now hope that it gets turned into action.

  3. Speaking of congestion, today I had the misfortune to use the newly refurbished zillion dollar North Western expressway SH16 at about 9.15 this morning heading toward the city.

    The traffic was crawling at about 15 km/hr to be generous from Patiki Rd off ramp onward and binding up badly at the Great North Road on ramp. No incidents, just too many cars and its something I have experienced before. I was not passed by a single bus as I crawled along, pretty much owing to the absence of bus lanes and continuous lanes at that.

    It got me thinking, what is going to happen when Waterview starts feeding traffic just past Great North Road? Answer, the traffic will more or less cease to move on either SH16 or the Waterview on-ramp and cars will be spilling on to suburban roads to escape the gridlock on the expressway.

    Is this the actual reason they are delaying its opening. I reckon.

    1. How far was your trip? Did it clear near thbe city? Can you give us some specific details of the whole trip, observations and even ideas to make it better if possible? Any specific ramps ? Was it wet etc? Thanks

      1. Does this mean that the huge new housing supply in the north-west is now effectively cut off from the one third of Auckland’s employment that is in the inner city ? Car travel to the inner city will be too slow for reasonable commute times because of congestion at the Waterview merge, and bus commuting is also too slow because it’s caught up in the same traffic. A great outcome for solving housing affordability – plenty of new houses, but they’re cut off from jobs because NZTA’s foolish investment in not having a bus lane.

  4. The Northshore bus way is comfortable reliable and with the abilty to keep the a car there its really pretty good experience for a car loving person. If I could take my bike onto the bus easily and get off on CBD mid city I would probably choose this option even if there was no traffic on the motorway on Sunny days.

  5. Yes, nice presentation Matt! Some of the questions asked were intriguing for someone like me unfamiliar with local government, but good to see general support from all present.

    What is the latest on central government – do people like the Minister of Transport still try to deny your existence or have they begun to engage?

  6. I wonder if freight was taken into account when you made the CFN?. Im thinking mostly of the north shore line as a heavy rail line would allow freight to move to northland without the circuitous route it currently takes through hellensville.

    If not, rail freight will struggle to compete with trucks even as the country grows. a lot of these decisions are 50 plus year decisions on infrastructure and I think building a light rail line to the shore is condemning northland to a roads only future.

    Rail freight makes much more money in NZ than passenger and a line that is used as both passenger and freight may have a better BCR than a purely passenger light rail line.

    1. No. Rail is not used for local goods distribution as it works on high volume and longer distances. The CFN is a passenger network, but it was designed with consideration of the needs of rail freight operations because our current rail system shares track between both uses.

      This is one of the advantages of adding a new passenger only rail network as we have; it reduces that conflict for space on the existing network between freight and Metro services as demand for both grows.

      1. Thanks Patrick. I’m aware of what rail is for. I meant the rail line goes up to orewa like on your map and then goes inland a bit to meet the NAL.
        I think your argument about conflict between freight and passenger doesn’t really work well in the sense that the freight trains will still come. And they will be in conflict with other passenger trains ,just on other parts of the network. So instead of a conflict on the north shore they will be in conflict up the western line or at newmarket.

        Although I concede some other track will be required upon reaching the southern side of the harbour as they can’t run through underground passenger stations.

    2. I don’t think freight was part of the CFN, it’s a transit plan.

      For a freight line via the north shore, consider what that means. It would require putting freight trains through a city centre tunnel, a harbour tunnel and up the northern line. That’s the same as putting freight through the CRL, worse actually as it would be much longer. Do we want to clog our transit line with freight, do we want the extra cost of freight capable undersea tunnels?

      I’m not sure if rail vs. trucks works quite like that anyway. What comoddities are so time sensitive that cutting an hour out of the rail journey would make the difference? Probably none of the things you’d ever run by train anyway.

      1. Well. I’m not sure who is right between Patrick and you to whether freight was considered but I would argue it should have been considered strongly. I don’t think you can separate out things into just a transit plan while not taking into account that these connections may reach the regions beyond the city.

        As far as tunnels go I’m no engineer but hazardous freight goes through the kamai tunnel everyday and that’s a few kilometres long .
        But you’re right in the sense it can’t run through any passenger stations.

        As for time sensitivity, I think it would lead to greater profitability. There are a few areas I guess. Driver times and location costs. Quality of the new track as opposed to the old track with speed restrictions. Connections to other trains departing Auckland.
        A lot of produce. Milk,meat,cheese etc the regions produce travels in refrigerated containers which can only be off power (on the train) for certain time limits.

        In summary I guess I do like light rail to different parts of Auckland but I worry that Auckland will need links out of it to the regions. We have one to the south that is not bad but the one to the north is unsatisfactory. And putting light rail to orewa would financially preclude a better freight link for quite some time.

        1. Freight was considered across the design, however the costs of providing for the project you mention would be astronomical and was discounted.

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