We made it to 2018. We’re expecting another big year and so with this first post of the year, I’m going to take a look at some of the things we can expect to happen.
City Rail Link
The city’s biggest transport project will continue to roll on through 2018. On the current construction sites of Britomart, Commercial Bay and Albert St we’ll continue to see progress. This year we’ll also find out who will be building the main tunnels and stations.
We expect that we’ll hear a lot more about light rail this year, including hopefully more details about when we might actually see construction starting. We’re hoping that a first section, at least from Town Hall to Wynyard could be up and running by the America’s Cup. That would also allow for progress to be made on making Queen St better for people.
It seems an age since anything actually happened with the Eastern Busway but this year we should see the resource consent hearings. However, assuming it’s approved, and this isn’t a Board of Inquiry process so there are bound to be appeals, it’s unlikely we’ll see any construction actually starting this year. We’ll hopefully hear more about the next stages too, including extending the busway from Pakuranga to Botany.
We’ll finally see the new bus network fully rolled out with the isthmus network expected in the July and the North Shore in September. The networks rolled out so far have already had a positive impact and we expect the same will occur with these final two. In July we’re also expecting better weekend frequencies on trains, although still not up to level required by the New Network.
We’re having a new census this year, in March, and it will be particularly interesting to see how measures like Journey to Work change. This year journey to education is also included with should help give a much better picture of travel.
We’re expecting to see a lot of progress on cycleways this year. Some of this includes:
- Nelson St Stage 3 (Market Pl to Quay St)
- Ian McKinnon Dr
- Karangahape Rd
- Eastern Path
- Tamaki Dr
- Victoria St West
We’re also hopeful there’ll be some progress on Skypath
Road safety is likely to see a lot more focus this year with it being a priority for the new government. We can expect a lot more initiatives aimed at turning around the the current trend of increased carnage on our roads.
East West Link
It’s likely we’ll hear more about plans for an updated, cheaper and effective alternative to the East-West Link.
We’ve been hearing noises that the NZTA are looking to get on with the designation for another harbour crossing. It’s likely we’ll hear more about it this year. We know that a PT crossing is needed sooner than a road crossing so a key thing to watch will be how this is dealt with (if they deal with it at all).
Councils Long Term Plan
Every three years the council needs reset it’s 10-year budget and the 2018-21 version will kick in from July. Consultation on it is likely early in the year. Last time the result of the consultation helped to ensure the council invested more in walking, cycling and PT than they had in the past.
Like the LTP, we’ll hear more about the updated Auckland Plan this year with public consultation expected soon.
The government are promising to build a lot more homes as part of their Kiwibuild policy. We expect to hear a lot about that, and hopefully how that can tie in with plans for transport, such as Light Rail.
There’s bound to be a lot more going on it 2018 with plenty of up’s and downs.