Here’s our weekly roundup
Otahuhu Platform 3 opens
Monday saw the officially opening of the new platform at Otahuhu which along with 1.3km of new track and four new crossovers has been built as part of the City Rail Link works to enable trains to turn back.
Auckland Transport say the new platform will go into operation tomorrow with southbound trains making use of it, thereby avoiding the need for passengers to use the overbridge when connecting to buses in that direction.
Starting from Saturday 5 December, train services heading towards Manukau and Papakura will use the new Platform 3 at Ōtāhuhu station. This new platform will provide easier transfer to connecting bus services. pic.twitter.com/LfWACVNagS
— Auckland Transport (@AklTransport) December 2, 2020
Mt Eden Boring Day Out
Just a reminder if you have tickets, CRL’s open day is this Sunday.
For those with tickets, here is what you need to know:
- Entry to the Mt Eden site will be via Ngahura Street near New North Road. Parking on site is limited to people with mobility parking permits.
- People are encouraged to use public transport to travel to the event. They can plan their trip online using Auckland Transport’s Journey Planner at www.at.govt.nz. Bikes, scooters, skateboards, and other wheel-operated transport with the exception of mobility scooters, will not be allowed inside the event.
- Although bikes and wheel operated transport equipment isn’t allowed in the event site, we also encourage people to ride your wheels! Our friends at Bike Auckland are providing their Bike Valet Service for the day.
- Closed toe and flat shoes must be worn, and people should be prepared for dust and loud noises.
- No food or drink is allowed but people are encouraged to support local businesses before and after the event.
- People with wheelchairs, mobility scooters, prams/pushchairs and walking sticks are welcome.
- The event is weather dependent and may be cancelled if Covid-19 alert levels change. Everyone must sign-in to the event using the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 tracer app or by physically signing in.
This footage shot last week shows the scale of the site.
Road Deaths in November
After consecutive five months of road deaths being higher than the same month the year before, November saw a slight improvement. Though we’re still some way off the best we’ve seen for a November.
On a 12-month rolling basis we’re 335 deaths, only slightly behind the 342 at this point last year which is both disappointing and frustrating given the major reduction in driving and deaths during the first lockdown.
Lake and Glenvar Roads
Auckland Transport announced this week that were moving ahead with the Lake Rd and Glenvar Rd projects.
Auckland Transport (AT) has announced significant milestones on two major projects taking them a step closer to potentially gaining funding.
The Lake Road and Glenvar Road transport improvement projects will both deliver improved safety, increased transport choices through public transport and walking and cycling, increase the capacity to move people and goods along the roads more efficiently and support the response to climate change.
The board of AT has approved the recently completed detailed business case for improvements to the transport network in the Devonport peninsula.
The board has also approved the business case for the Glenvar Road-East Coast Road project in Long Bay. Both projects are funded by the regional fuel tax and although there is currently insufficient funding to commence construction, there is an allocation of $500,000 to start the detailed design phase of the Glenvar Road project.
The Lake Rd decision is interesting because the local board had opposed the changes, which are mostly improvements to the bike lanes. It is meant to cost around $47 million but it’s not clear when it will start.
Meanwhile the Glenvar Rd project is expected to cost $52.2 million with first section starting in 2022/23 if funding is available. AT say there was 90% support for the proposal during the consultation last year.
Building consents continue to surge with figures released yesterday showing just under 1,600 were issued in October. That’s up nearly 200 on the same month last year and brings the total consents issued over the 12-months to the end of October to a new record of nearly 15.7k.
Townhouses continue to be a huge driver of that growth and over that 12-month period, now account for 40% of the consents while single house consents remain stable with overall share dropping to 42%. If current trends continue it won’t be long before townhouses are the biggest single category.
Vending Machines selling masks
Masks were made mandatory on PT a few weeks ago. Compliance generally seems pretty good but for those that do forget, Auckland Transport have now made masks available in vending machines at train stations and ferry terminals. This is a good idea although $9 is a bit steep with them saying it is “based on the cost of the stock, a contribution towards reconfiguring the vending machines and ongoing servicing by Sanitarium“. As of yesterday morning they said they’d already sold 45 packs.
It does highlight that AT can have other things put in there other than just drinks which is good and we believe AT should look to add HOP cards to these vending machines too.
From this week, you'll be able to purchase a 4-pack of disposable masks from our vending machines for $9. These are located at most train stations and ferry terminals.
Remember to wear your mask & scan the QR code with the NZ COVID Tracer app when travelling on public transport. pic.twitter.com/uo3clAdQZS
— Auckland Transport (@AklTransport) December 2, 2020
Council votes on congestion pricing
Yesterday the Council’s Planning Committee unanimously voted to progress to the next stage with congestion pricing. The minutes of the item are below
That the Planning Committee:
- note that phase two of The Congestion Question project is complete
- receive the findings from phase two of The Congestion Question project
- approve officers scoping the next phase of the project alongside officers from participating agencies, including Auckland Transport.
- note that officers will seek the committee’s approval of the scope before proceeding with the third phase of The Congestion Question project
- require that the scope provides a timeline and process for comprehensive public engagement, including targeted engagement with Māori, due to the critical importance of hearing from Aucklanders about the implications and options of congestion pricing before any decisions are finalised
- require that the potential social inequity impacts and the mitigation of any such impacts be fundamental to further considerations and the scope of the next phase of work
- requests quarterly progress reporting on the next phase of congestion pricing in Auckland
- urge the government to fully commit its agencies to progress the next phase of congestion pricing in Auckland, including provisional scheme design, for a final decision by Quarter Three 2021.
The paper to the committee notes this could potentially include:
- the establishment of a new terms of reference and working arrangements/budgets
- public dialogue on a potential congestion charging scheme for Auckland
- more detailed scheme design
- the initiation of legislative change/refinement processes (post final decision to proceed)
- decisions on the proposed ownership and operating model.
— Simon Wilson (@simonbwilson) December 1, 2020
An upgrade for our HOP readers?
— Cats Where They Shouldn't Be (@catsnoplace) December 1, 2020
Now that’s a Linear Park
— Mikkel Selsøe (@selsoe) December 2, 2020
Have a good weekend