There are a few important consultations on at the moment that are worth highlighting as some close this week, including one today.

Local Board Plans – feedback closing 4pm today

Auckland Council are consulting on three-year plans for each local board. Feedback is open until 4pm today, Monday 14 August.

Our friends over at Bike Auckland have written a good summary of the process, and opportunities for making our city more bike friendly.

Every three years Auckland’s 21 local boards prepare strategic plans to help guide investment, funding, and local projects over the next three years. The plans also direct the local board input and advocacy into regional strategies, plans and policies.

These plans are open for public consultation right now, and, because the Mayor directed Auckland Transport to listen closely to Local Board input, it’s more important than ever that your local board hears from you!


Although Local Boards have small budgets, they can advocate on the community’s behalf for projects, and sometimes projects are postponed or cancelled if the Board is against them. As such, they can play a big role in shaping how you get around your community and local place making. Slower speeds, safe walking and cycling pathways connecting to local schools, and a vibrant people-focused town centre (all things which Local Boards have a say in) improve community well-being, cut household transport costs, reduce emissions, and benefit the local economy.

They’ve included some great overarching goals

Here’s what Bike Auckland would like to see in local board plans:

  • Public transport and active transport modes given priority
  • Accessibility for all kinds of disabilities given priority
  • Safe streets for kids to walk and cycle to school
  • Vibrant town centres with well-designed, people-oriented public spaces
  • Low traffic neighbourhoods
Key initiatives 
  • Safe speeds on residential streets, town centres, and around schools
  • Use of modal filters to stop rat running and make residential streets quieter
  • Use of greenways, “blue-green networks” and quiet areas to make safe cycle connections between local board areas
  • An accessible, safe, efficient, and connected network of pathways and cycleways across our neighbourhoods. These should link people to schools, town centres, and public transport
  • Secure bike parking at train stations, transport hubs, town centres, and community facilities (eg. more Lockydocks!)
  • Wayfinding to help people find their way along the safe cycleways to their destinations
  • Ferry service optimization, or other innovations
  • Advocate to Auckland Transport to give effect to the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway, the key strategy to de-carbonise Auckland’s transport system
  • Support for bike hubs and community events with a cycle component
  • We’ve listed some specific transport projects we would love to see supported below

You could ask your local board to advocate to Auckland Transport to:

  • Align all projects and renewals with the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway (TERP) and emission reduction goals
  • Support the campaign to Liberate the Lane on the Auckland Harbour Bridge for walking, cycling, and wheeling
  • Make streets safer by reducing speed limits to 30km/h around schools, residential streets, and town centres
  • Use modal filters to stop rat running and make residential streets safer and quieter
  • Provide an accessible, safe, and efficient local network of pathways and cycleways
  • Improve cycle and pathway safety, including lighting, physical traffic barriers, non-slip surfaces etc
  • Improve the local public transport network and bus lane priority
  • Support local initiatives to reduce emissions by encouraging more use of public transport (eg. secure bike parking at transport hubs, safe cycleways connecting to public transport hubs)

And if you’re wanting some ideas for your own local board, they’ve also got a list of specific projects for each local board area.

Go here for links to the feedback forms for all of the local board consultations, but be quick – remember this one closes today, Monday 14 August at 4pm.

Regional Public Transport Plan – feedback closes Thursday

Auckland Transport are consulting on their Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP). The RPTP is an important statutory document that lays out how public transport will develop and operate in the region. It includes Auckland Transport’s vision, goals, policies, plans for PT as well as a description for all services they intend to run and the frequencies they will run at.

I wrote about the plan in more detail here. Feedback is open until this Thursday 17 August.

If delivered, the plan represents a good improvement on the PT system we have today. However, it falls short of the ambition we’ve seen in the past – and it falls short of the goals we require in order to meet our emission reduction commitments.

AT blames a lack of funding (and a lack of certainty around funding). They say that if fully delivered, by 2031 we might reach about 150 million trips, which would be an almost 50% increase on the 103 million we achieved pre-COVID – but remains well short of the 550 million trips needed to achieve Auckland’s targets in the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway (TERP).

A big feature of this latest plan is the changes to the rail and bus network as a result of the City Rail Link. These will see the rail network redesigned and running more services –  although disappointingly, we’ll only have trains every 15 minutes off peak and only every 30 in the evenings. In our view, this frequency is simply not acceptable for a rapid transit service. The rail network is meant to be part of the backbone of the PT system, but this timetable means there will be buses arriving more frequently at train stations than there are trains for people to connect to. Hardly optimal.

The plan also includes a lot of improvements to buses over the next eight years, with many of these expected to be funded as part of the Council’s Climate Action Transport Targeted Rate (CATTR).

There are plenty of other changes I outlined in my post from a month ago, and even more included in the document, so it’s worthwhile taking a look.

Consultation closes on Thursday 17 August.

Draft Speed Management Plan for Auckland – feedback open until 28 August

Auckland Transport has been rolling out speed limit change across Auckland for a number of years now. Over three tranches, close to 40% of roads in the Auckland region, have had speed limits changed. Much of that percentage has been in rural areas, although changes have also applied to the city centre, town centres and around some schools.

AT is claiming some impressive results from the first tranche alone (bearing in mind the more recent ones are still too soon for them to be able to reflect on).

Between 2014 and 2017 the number of deaths and serious injuries (DSI) on Auckland’s roads increased by approximately 78 per cent – more than five times the rate of the growth in vehicle kilometres travelled.

In areas where speed limits were changed on 30 June 2020, monitoring reports show a 30 percent reduction in deaths and 21 percent reductions in serious injuries. In comparison, across all Auckland roads for the time period (24 months), road deaths increased by 9 percent.

AT’s latest consultation is their biggest yet, covering about another quarter of the road network, and focusing heavily on expanding safe speed limits around schools.

Some Aucklanders still have mixed feelings about speed limit changes, though.

They worry about:

  • longer travel times
  • learning different speed limits
  • making mistakes

But they also know that unsafe speed limits:

  • stop their kids walking or cycling to school
  • add to congestion because parents feel they have to drive their kids to the school gate

Now we want your views on a new draft speed management plan that proposes:

  • permanent speed limit changes for groups of residential roads near schools and town centres
  • permanent speed limit changes for groups of roads and some individual roads in rural Rodney, Franklin and Aotea
  • variable speed limit changes for schools on main/high-traffic roads (variable speed limits are reduced speeds that operate when a flashing speed limit sign is turned on, usually before and after school)
  • a permanent change for a section of Karioitahi Beach, under request from Auckland Council.

It will include about another quarter of the road network across the Auckland region and changes will:

  • be easy-to-understand
  • add less than 15 seconds to an average 20-minute car trip
  • have simple signs and colourful road markings
  • makes school neighbourhoods safer for families so kids can walk to school
  • makes rural, unsealed and no exit roads safer for country people

We will keep the current permanent speeds on our largest and busiest urban roads.

As with previous consultations, AT has an interactive map of all of the proposed changes,

Consultation closes 28 August.

Share this


  1. The draft RPTP is severely hindered by the mythology within AT that there’s insufficient funding for achieving the TERP goals, when in fact AT aren’t taking the affordable pathways to achieving them and have not done what they can to stop the road-building and corridor-widening projects that are chewing up the funding.

    Rolling out a city-wide Low Traffic Neighbourhood programme should have started years ago, and could be reducing traffic already, freeing buses from congestion and making getting to the buses safer and easier. Similarly, the renewals programme and work going on in the streets for Watercare and other infrastructure upgrades that AT could have been delivering on the TERP goals incrementally.

    And the reason AT aren’t taking the affordable pathways to achieving the TERP goals is that they have refused to change their planning approach and investment priorities according to the TERP direction.

    1. Low traffic neighbourhoods weren’t really possible previously due to the limited ability to block off roads. BUT with the newly signed Streets Layout Rule giving RCAs the modal filter powers needed for this the work on low traffic neighbourhoods should really get started.

      1. So you have been saying… But I never spotted your answer to why Auckland was able to put in modal filters in the latter half of last century. I think you’ve been asked a few times. Did you ever reply?

        I believe what happened is that AT’s culture of management bullying in its early years led their weak lawyers to scan for any “legal risk” that might hurt them, rather than to use their skills to pursue Council’s goals in transport. Thus, accepted and normal practices were suddenly highlighted as problematic. Three areas where this has had an enormous effect are:

        – parking enforcement
        – implementation of basic and accepted traffic management practices like modal filters
        – the interpretation of consultation requirements.

        It’s a huge pity, because many of AT’s problems come down to these errors.

  2. We should ask AT how this statement aligns with Vision Zero: “We will keep the current permanent speeds on our largest and busiest urban roads.”

    The “largest and busiest urban roads” are places where vehicles and people mix. Our 50 km/hr arterials remain the locations where much of the DSI is happening; safety staff know this – so who’s insisting on this? Retaining non-VZ speed limits there retains systemic risk and rips families apart – Aucklanders deserve better. The approach stems from AT’s ELT having been unable to adopt safe system thinking, still – just as they have for each previous safety approach. They can’t seem to envision, communicate, nor lead a programme of delivering the safe system that would improve outcomes for all users (including drivers).

    The incremental approach taken since the Road Safety Business Improvement Review has required non-evidence-based decision-making at each stage, and thus has contributed to confused public sentiment and is why, **5.5 years on**, the whole topic remains a political football.

    I’m reading a book by Maria Ressa at the moment and I think it’s time for safety-conscious staff to start “Holding the Line”.

    1. I work on Great South Road in Ellerslie. Is 4 lanes but is very rarely busy enough to justify it. There are loads of businesses on both sides and people walking around, I believe a pedestrian was killed recently. If they reduced it to a 2 lane tree lined street with hard median and 40kmh speed limit I doubt it would increase car journey times by much at all, but it would be a much nicer place.

    2. “The approach stems from AT’s ELT having been unable to adopt safe system thinking, still”

      *refusing* to change their thinking – let’s call it what it is.

  3. I’m always bemused by the fact that safety is negotiable,i.e, it is sent to the general populace for consultation,and obvious safety measures are only implemented if there is general approval. There is an agreed “science” ,backed up by statistics ,that,for example, lower speed limits reduce DSI,s,what else needs to be consulted?

    1. Ah, but since we calculate both travel time savings AND deaths with assumed monetary values for each, that poor SOBs life clearly IS negotiable. Otherwise, why put a $ sum on his life and put it on a scale with what the traffic model spits out for delays?

      Ethical? Nope. Very capitalist tho – (economic) model is king.

  4. T4 should obviously run to Swanson. If every southern line train is going through the empty quarter to Puke past new stations without yet locals then clearly the outer west, which already does have communities, should also get more service. Marginal additional operating cost. Additional platform at Swanson rather than Hendo. MakeT4 more useful.

    Additionally, investigate slapping some batteries into the T4 3-car sets and extending that service to Kumeu/Huapai. Bit more investment in both rolling stock and network, but would still be a very cheap way to had the first extension since Manukau City was added, a decade ago. Simple halts rather than massive new stations with overbridges etc, surely we can still invest proportionately despite the mega-project drug….?

    1. The current design of the CAF EMUs is unlikely to be permitted to fun through the Waitakere Tunnel (even with batteries) as there is insufficient clearance between the train and the tunnel walls for passengers to be evacuated from the train if it breaks down in the tunnel. They would need to be fitted with end escape doors like the Matangi EMUs in Wellington, but this would be a major rebuild.

      1. Were there not upgrades to the tunnel as part of the recent NAL improvements? Or did that miss out?

        Was in Huapai on the weekend, crazy to think a place with multi-story apartment blocks (could be a rest home) and a rail line running through it doesn’t feature in long term plans for the passenger rail network.

        1. Meanwhile, “Huapai Improvements” – which featured nowhere in the RLTP for Financial Year 24, seemed to then spring up to command $14m in the Capital Plan that was approved by the AT Board in June.

          This looks like non-TERP-aligned planning that pipped long-standing, deisigned-and-consulted-multiple-times and TERP-aligned projects out of AT’s plans… am I missing something about this project’s history?

  5. Done local board submission, but with not much thought into it. Regarding transport, it seems they mainly want to push AT to do stuff in the direction they want which was all rather vague but sounded OK.

  6. Good news! As per the Bike Auckland Plan … there is more wayfinding to come.
    Tick: New Lynn to Avondale.
    Tick: Te Ara ki Uta ki Tai / Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive.
    Coming soon!
    8 x City Centre UCP cycle projects having wayfinding installed.
    More 5m cycle beacons to improve visibility of key cycle routes and experiences.
    The prioritised rollout of the almost completed Cycling Wayfinding Strategy i.e. network map and improved suite of wayfinding signage, groundmarking and maps.

  7. Thanks Heidi,
    We have a long way to go to improve the wayfinding right across the network.
    The team are close to completing the last round of customer testing for a new network map and suite of better wayfinding designs and solutions.
    These have had lots of research and customer testing with the aim of being simpler, more visual and more helpful for our awesome cyclists.
    Also looking to increase the visibility of great rides with 5m beacon signs at key locations.
    Just need for $$$ to start rolling this out across the cycle network in a prioritised order. It will not happen overnight, but it is heading in a much more positive direction. Onward!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *