Most of the focus in all of the transport plans and policies released over recent months have understandably been on transport projects within the existing urban area. But over the coming three decades, billions will also be spent by the council and government to open up farmland in the North, Northwest and South for new homes and businesses. In total, these areas could see over 100 thousand new homes built over the next 30 years, that’s about two Hamilton’s worth.
To support that growth, the Council/Auckland Transport and NZTA will need to build the strategic transport corridors. This means upgrades, extensions or new motorways, arterial roads and public transport infrastructure. Work has been done on this before, previously under the name Transport for Future Urban Growth (TFUG). Back in 2016 they came up with a preferred network as seen below.
A lot has changed in the transport sphere since the project was first worked on. Drawing lines on a map isn’t enough and so a project alliance called Te Tupu Ngātahi has been set up to protect all of the routes that aren’t already underway separately, such as the Matakana Link Rd, Penlink and Mill Rd. That will mean going from a few high-level arrows to having a formal designation in the planning maps. Actually protecting routes long in advance makes sense and feels like something we haven’t done in a long time. Here’s Phil Tywford’s press release about it.
A new alliance is taking responsibility for planning and confirming around 60 transport projects to support growth in Auckland.
The Supporting Growth Alliance, Te Tupu Ngātahi (“to grow together as one”) is a collaboration between the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport (AT) to investigate and plan the transport network and support Auckland’s urban growth over the next 30 years.
The Alliance will support the initial development of growth areas in Warkworth, north, northwest and south Auckland. It is estimated that these areas will account for around 30% of the region’s growth by 2050. In all, that’s about 15,000 hectares of greenfield or undeveloped land, with a capacity for 137,000 new homes and 67,000 new jobs.
All of the growth areas will build on Auckland’s proposed rapid transit network for the future, including Light Rail to the northwest.
As a collaborative consortium of government and professional service firms, the Alliance will be responsible for the whole approach to identifying and protecting routes for the transport network while providing efficiencies in the planning process.
The Regional Land Transport Programme sets aside $81.4 million over the next decade for this route protection work.
The alliance expects the work to take about five years and say their role is to:
- Assess and investigate the preferred network, in light of new Government priorities and the latest land use planning, including consultation with Auckland Council, KiwiRail, Manawhenua, local boards, the community and other stakeholders
- Prepare business cases for the projects, which are required to build a rigorous case for investment in the transport network by the end of 2019
- Seek route protection for the transport network within five years. Route protection is where land is identified and protected to allow for future construction and operation of infrastructure.
Reviewing the preferred network is the stage they’re currently at and it’s good to see that as part of it they’re recognising the change in transport landscape as that occurred. This review is starting with Warkworth and the North Shore (the Dairy Flat to Silverdale corridor) and includes a public consultation.
Compared to the original preferred map, there are more new links they’re considering. One of the most notable is a motorway interchange on the southern side of Warkworth, something that is likely to be quite popular with locals. There are more potential options for the Western Collector roads and now similar being considered for the eastern side. Another very costly (their words) potential option is a bridge over the Mahurangi River to connect with options on that the northern side
As well as new/upgraded roads, they’re also talking about how public transport can connect to Warkworth, including how developed a station is, how many there are and where they might be located.
One of the more interesting discussions in the North is that they’re revisiting the options for the rapid transit route through the area. Does it stick next to the motorway for a faster and more direct service to Silverdale and Orewa or head inland to better serve the growing population at Dairy Flat before those areas further north. There is also the added question of if it reaches Orewa via SH1 and Grand Drive or via Hibiscus Coast Highway.
As a quick estimation, option 2 adds about 3km to the route which would probably add about 5 minutes. But it’s not clear why the detour on it is so pronounced. It feels like that could be shaved down a bit so the time/directness difference wouldn’t be too different.
In addition to the rapid transit options, they’re consulting on some high level strategic walking and cycling routes, which would link to local roads with cycle infrastructure. These seem to follow the same routes above.
These are the types of cross sections they’re talking about for the arterial roads in both the North and Warkworth.
There is more information about both areas on the Supporting Growth website. They also have some information days coming up.
|Wednesday 22 August||3.30pm-7pm||Warkworth Town Hall|
21 Neville St, Warkworth
|Thursday 23 August||3.30pm-7pm||Dairy Flat Hall|
4 Postman Rd, Dairy Flat
|Saturday 25 August||10am-1pm||Silverdale Mall|
75 Silverdale Rd, Silverdale
The Northwest and South areas will see consultations in coming months.