Yesterday I took a look at what isn’t (currently) being funded over the next decade in Auckland Transport’s Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). In this post, I’m taking a look at some of what is being funded, and there’s a lot. As you’d expect, this is the same as what makes up ATAP but this gives us the detail. Also, one of the great things about RLTP documents is they include what is being funded by all agencies, so it includes projects by the NZTA and Kiwirail. The projects listed below are ones not already committed to or that have money ring-fenced for.

Auckland Transport

Safety

ATAP included $900m in safety upgrades with the intention of dropping in deaths and serious injuries from 813 in 2017 to 325 in 2027. Just over $700m of that sits in a group of safety programmes.

Public Transport

The NZTA have been given most of the rapid transit projects (light rail, airport – Puhinui busway, Northern busway extension) but Auckland Transport still have the Eastern Busway and a few bits of the airport access, including the Puhinui bus/train upgrade.

With the Eastern Busway, one thing that particularly stands out is the cost of the Panmure to Pakuranga section, at $170m, compared to the Reeves Rd flyover and Pakuranga station at $316m. This is especially so given the first one also includes a busway bridge across the Tamaki River. I also wonder just what size bus station and Park & Ride they’re planning at Botany. As an example, the huge new Manukau Bus Interchange cost about $50m if you include land. Even at that price, the remaining money looks to be enough for a large multi-storey carpark.

There is a range of other bus, train and ferry improvements coming. One of the more significant is the $215m for the first phase of the next bus priority measures and was announced as part of ATAP. As we mentioned yesterday, there’s almost double that sitting in the unfunded programme. One project some might have not heard about before is an upgrade to Carrington Rd which plans to add bus and protected bike lanes to the corridor.

On top of these projects, there is $39m for the proposed new bus interchanges on Lower Albert St and Quay St

Active

The plan includes $491m in bike infrastructure for, although $153m of that appears to be is a hangover from the Urban Cycleway Fund of the last government. Combined, this is short of the funding ATAP announced and that’s because there are a number of projects sitting under the NZTA. However, if you take out the Urban Cycleway Fund and some of the NZTA projects, the funding falls short of what is required to deliver AT’s 10-year cycling business case.

As part of the local board projects, a $5m connection from Gowing Dr to the Tamaki Dr to Glen Innes shared path is included too.

Network Performance

Under the heading of Network Capacity and Performance Improvements, Network Performance contains a laundry list of things the $180m allocated will be used for.

A package of small scale initiatives such as synchronisation of traffic signals, best-use road layout, first-and-final leg trials and implementation, dynamic lanes at highest congestion locations, targeted freight movement improvements, upgrades to traffic light management system to enable smarter intersections, BIG DATA real-time multi modal network performance and congestion monitoring system, ferry interpeak/weekend trials and implementation, and targeted local bus capacity and resilience enhancements.

Technology

AT have $300m budgeted for various technology line items but the one that stands out is also the biggest single one, $119m to ultimately replace HOP.

To extend, enhance and replace AT HOP equipment and systems – including the back-end system, retail and top-up devices and the tag-on/off devices for rail, ferry and bus.

Corridor Improvements

We’ve already heard about Mill Rd and Penlink being funded under the ATAP agreement and the RLTP includes funding for five others as well as seal extensions. These are

NZTA

On top of the projects currently underway, the NZTA have plenty of new projects to do, including many of the biggest ones including taking over Light Rail from Auckland Transport. Their other major projects are shown below, and most were highlighted as part of ATAP.

They also have a number of smaller cycling projects they’re looking at, although some only for investigation at this stage. the Southern Cycle Link would be a very useful addition, including for improving access to stations like Greenlane.

There are a large number of corridor and safety improvements, although many large in their own right. The biggest of these is $130m for noise walls around the motorway network. Another interesting one is the need to do something about SH1 north of the Harbour Bridge which has been underwater a few times recently during large tides and storms.

Kiwirail

Kiwirail has $866m of projects to improve the rail network, which includes the big items like Pukekohe electrification and the 3rd main but many other improvements too. This includes $20m for pedestrian and $185m for road level crossing removals. There’s also $69m to upgrade the Onehunga line. Another significant outcome is to get the existing network up to speed with a range of improvements.

Rail Network Resilience and Performance Programme

Programme of works to improve network resilience and performance to ensure investment in rail infrastructure and services is optimised. This includes additional Crossovers, Line Speed Increases (south and west), Infill Signals, Wiri Independent Feed, Infil Balises, Remuera Siding

Rail Network Resilience and Performance Programme – Catch-up Renewals

Funding for works to address historic formation, drainage and track issues to bring the network up to a modern metro standard. This includes acceleration of some renewal activity to ensure programme is optimised and ensure the network will perform reliably under increased traffic volumes. This work was identified within the track study undertaken by Network Rail Consulting, UK

The Britomart East remodelling is included as part of the CRL project so I’m surprised to see it in the list for Kiwirail to do, although it’s possible they’re doing it for CRL.

And finally, the currently unfunded rail projects, which probably should have been included in yesterday’s post. The total cost for these projects is $800m but that’s not broken down.

Southern Rail Lines Upgrade for Regional Services/express services

  • Infrastructure required to support regional/express services
    • Creation of a 3rd track between:
    • Wiri to Papakura, Papakura and Pukekohe
  • Creation of a 4th track between:
    • Westfield to Wiri
    • Wiri to Papakura

There’s certainly plenty going on, and this wasn’t even all of it. But given this is a 10-year plan, I wish we could skip ahead and deliver most of that in the next few

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50 comments

    1. Not at $69 million it won’t. Given they mention 3tph/6 car trains I would say it would be platform lengthening, better signalling and possibly a passing loop.

      1. You know Michael Cullen gave $11 million to rebuid the whole of the Onehunga line when it was redone. The whole of the trench into Britomart was $17 million we seem to have inflated the cost of rail projects lately. Although Kiwirail is only spending $5 million to un mothball the Napier Wairoa section.

        1. There would be a lot more property purchase if the Onehunga line was double tracked, which has a big impact on costs. I agree though costs are certainly spiraling, how the watered down East/West link is still costing $800m is beyond me.

    2. Remuera Siding: Offline holding of cancelled services to clear disruption. Bypass of existing routes into Newmarket to speed up congestion clearance. Interpeak stabling of express services terminating at Newmarket.

      Onehunga: Partial double tracking to form a crossing loop off the main line. Realignment or relocation of Onehunga platform to accommodate 6-car units and future proof for double tracked terminus.

      /Suspected-speculation

      1. Sounds logical and good. Remuera thing be good for the limited stops Onehunga service to pass if necessary, or would that muck up slots in Newmarket & Britomart anyway (pre CRL I’m thinking)?

      2. A bit off topic but is that what those two sidings at Morningside are for? They seem completely unused (much rusty rail tops) for several years Just ready for storing emus? Down express overtaking?

  1. How often do you think “improvement to” means “widening”? How many of these projects involve fewer car lanes at intersections, replaced with wider footpaths and cycle lanes? I’d love to see a column next to all these projects, showing a net addition or subtraction of road space.

    Maybe Goff could ask for this, since he’s directed AT to reallocate road space to public transport and active modes.

  2. I’ve not heard of the Remuera siding project, but my guess is its to help stage afternoon peak trains or maybe some efficiency around Newmarket operations?

    I’d doubt the Onehunga one upgrade means double tracking, you can see it’s targeted at 3tph. That probably only needs a passing loop and/or a bit of extra track work around the Penrose junction.

  3. Third party funding and financing of the light rail projects… because why? We fund roads for decades, ruining active mode options, creating sprawl, becoming one of the most car dependent cities in the world, and then those projects that will finally bring relief can’t get full funding. I don’t get it.

      1. Am I right we’re talking about tolls for roads and higher fares for PT? With roads, the inequity of everyone paying for much of the road, and only those who think they can afford to pay the toll getting to use it is balanced, perhaps, by reducing the sheer number of trips by the tolling. With public transport, there’s no good to be gained by reducing passenger numbers with the use of a higher fare, so all it does is reduce the benefit to society of the project.

        The government gets finance at a lower interest rate than any private company can. So it doesn’t make sense to me.

        1. I don’t think higher fares are being considered. I haven’t seen any mention of it and Labour have been hinting at lower PT fares.

          1. Heidi, The government has talked about lowering the fare box targets.

            However the good news is that nothing appears to to have changed with AT and their parking policies and they will “charge the the lowest rates possible to achieve occupancy targets.” One level of government trying to encourage PT usage and another trying to do I am not sure what.

    1. It could be some form of value capture I guess? If we can get a third party to fund part a project then why on the earth would we pay for it ourselves?

      Alternatively it might be PPP. I guess the current government are playing a bit of tit-for-tat, the previous National government left them with some motorway PPPs that tie up the transport budget, they plan to do the same with LR projects for the next National government.

      I’d be very surprised if it included higher fares for using these lines, that would undermine the whole integrated fare concept.

  4. Does the replacement of HOP system indicate that the national roll out of integrated ticketing (or whatever it’s being called) is moving ahead? My understanding was that the previous government/NZTA wanted everyone to adopt whatever system Auckland had.

    1. Transit card systems usually only have a functional life of 10 to 15 years. AT Hop will be replaced in the future one way or another.

  5. So the ‘improvements’ to SH1 and SH20 will cost nearly $1.2 billion. Money that could fund the currently unfunded third main between Wiri and Pukekohe and fourth main between Westfield and Papakura, PLUS presumably close the shortfall on AT’s Cycling Programme.

    Where in all the mighty words does it say we should be inducing this much traffic instead of improving rail and cycling to this degree?

    1. Heidi
      You are absolutely right. Many in the media, for whatever reason, saw this 10 year plan as a massive shift to PT. In practice, it is something of a shift to PT and as commentators are now starting to realise will not reduce congestion.

      “Here’s a sobering thought. The $28 billion the Government and the Auckland Council plan to spend on transport in this city in the next 10 years will not clear congestion on the roads. With a fast-rising population it will, they hope, do no more than hold congestion at 2016 levels.” This I think is from today’s Herald.

      It is a sad indictment that the media are only just coming to this conclusion. There is a course a significant portion whose political persuasion doesn’t require them to inquire deeply into anything in case the conclusion runs contrary to their dogma.

      I suspect that Auckland will need demand pricing relatively soon as there is little in the plan that will make an immediate difference to reducing car dependency and congestion.

  6. Thanks for highlighting Carrington Rd, Matt. AT are going to have to consider the traffic problem during Unitec’s construction, too. Unless they’ve got a good plan to avoid it, Pt Chevalier and Mt Albert will be wrecked by the trucks coming through. And we don’t want the buses held up along there.

    I’d suggest they simply block Carrington Rd to the private car, somewhere like Tasman Ave (with access by car to all properties from one side or other, just not as a through-route). Parcel off some safe cycling and walking strips, allow the buses and trucks. There’s the WC nearby people can take for longer trips, bus and active modes available for shorter trips, and circuitous routes available if none of that works for you.

    And then only widen the road later for buslanes if they really feel they have to open it up to the private car again. By then it might be clear they don’t need to.

    1. I disagree (being selfish) as someone who lives in pt chev and regularly travels to Mt Albert, it a pretty long detour if you close off Carrington Road to private cars.. You would be creating a divide between Pt Chev & Mt Albert

      I think it would much better to put site access via Gt North Road, I aware this would require a new road to go thought the waterview reserve/park, but would make sense for construction traffic to use that route.

      1. Looking at motorway access for trucks, I’d imagine they will open up access to GNR during construction, but there will still be some routes and directions they’ll try to do via Carrington Rd. No access to the WC from Waterview was probably a good decision but will hamper the Unitec development.

        An unsafe to cycle and walk, slow-bus, congested Carrington Rd will definitely be a divide between Pt Chevalier and Mt Albert. Where in Mt Albert do you go that isn’t served by the 007 or Outer Link or by bike? Or, put it another way, is there a reason we would keep connection for space-inefficient private vehicles if it makes it worse for pedestrians, cyclists, bus passengers and trucks?

        1. Well i think we should also close off Meola road, make it bus and cycle only road, it would Pt Chev much nicer place, could link up the cycle way with Garnet road

          1. Yup. The traffic along there is a nightmare. If travel time reliability is worth anything – and I believe billions of dollars are sometimes spent in its name – doing what you suggest would make a lot of sense. The Outer Link bus is a key element in our bus network, and it is held up in a few pinch points, Meola Rd being one of them. It often takes 15 minutes, and even more, for a bus to go along there, turning the bus timetable into a nonsense. And it would provide a far cheaper solution for the cycleway.

  7. oyster is potentially on the way out in London with paywave the new big thing. Are we heading down that path too.

  8. > As part of the local board projects, a $5m connection from Gowing Dr to the Tamaki Dr to Glen Innes shared path is included too.
    Music to my ears! This project will be brilliant in reducing congestion and providing transport choice in the area, and set an example for local access projects to come. Brilliant!

    > the Southern Cycle Link would be a very useful addition, including for improving access to stations like Greenlane.
    Indeed it is. Greenlane Station has a lot of untapped potential, both for access for current residential area and driving redevelopment once station access improves.

    > Reeves Rd flyover and Pakuranga station at $316m
    Can we not just move into the 21st century and can the flyover? How many active mode/access projects would that saving fund? So much progress in the new ATAP, but still so much more to do…

  9. What happened to Labours support for RRR? Is this now 10 to 20 years away if the southern line upgrades are not done in next 10 years?

  10. Looks like they are starting to investigate new bus interchange in botany and pakaranga.

    I was not a big fan of manukau bus station. However my perception totally changed after using the new manukau bus interchange. I realized the interior station layout is superior than otahuhu interchange.

    The big difference is there is fully air conditioned waiting area for bus, as well as good amenities such as ample seats, customer service, tank juice, blue mountain cafe, papa rich and convenient store.

    It feels very comfortable and inviting and making bus waiting a pleasant experience.

    Whereas in Otahuhu, the whole station feels lifeless, waiting for bus in outdoor can be uncomfortable with bus fumes and noise, especially in cold and rainy days, also there are excessive walking up stairs and downstairs.

    My conclusion is station should design for users experience rather than bus efficiency.

    Therefore I think moving forward, the future bus station design would be like Smales Farm bus layout, but with manukau indoor amenity.

  11. If anyone has access to information about how the $180m for the Network Capacity and Performance Improvements will be divided into the ‘laundry list’ of items listed, I’d love to read a post about it, thanks.

  12. Yes I am very impressed with the Manukau bus interchange not so much with Otahuhu. Why are’t Intercity using it. Do they want there customers standing out in the weather at the front of the mall.

    1. My only real bugbear about Manukau station is why could they have built an underground link with the train station and MIT campus.

      It just would have made transfers more pleasant on cold rainy days.

      1. Tautoko! An underpass would have made good sense – especially since AT have an employee standing outside trying to deter people from crossing directly in front of the train station and the bus station exit. The “shelter” across the road is pretty, but so high and narrow as to be effectively useless in any degree of decent wind, and they’ve gone to all the trouble of making Putney Way outside the station a shared road – with bugger all cover for pedestrians!

        As for the bays in the bus station that are “not used by AT services” – how about giving AT, Mana and Intercity a kick up the bum about the lack of signage and real time schedule info for the intercity bus services?

          1. You wouldn’t know that from the signage at the bus station. How come Intercity are being contrary? Now that even the Airporter is no longer stopping outside the mall the transfers are going to be a pita.

          2. In opening week I was told they would be using the Manukau Bus Station, like the Mana ones already were, just needed the fence altered to suit some/all of their new buses where the luggage hold door didn’t match up.

  13. Got to be no free parking at the bus station for pickup or delivering passengers to their buses. Free parking at the mall. There are signs both in thr terminal and at the mall bus stop.

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