Tauranga’s Ghost Motorway

Over the weekend I took a trip down to Paengaroa (about 30km east of Tauranga) to visit some family. After travelling through Tauranga, the fastest option for getting there is via only the second of the government’s Roads of National Significance to have been fully completed, the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) – the first was the Victoria Park tunnel. This wasn’t the first time I’ve driven over the road and as with previous times, I was struck with the emptiness of it. So, I thought I’d look a little closer at it. The TEL is a 21km, four lane motorway from Te Maunga in Tauranga (near BayPark stadium) through to the …
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Another flawed congestion report

Every year TomTom produce a report about how much worse congestion is getting in Auckland, and every year the media lap it up – usually without looking at the flawed methodology of the report. So it was the NZ Herald yesterday: Auckland’s roads are so congested commuters are spending an extra 45 minutes a day – or four working weeks a year – stuck in traffic. A new report has revealed the country’s congestion is now worse than Hong Kong with the time spent on Auckland’s roads doubling in the space of three years. TomTom has released the results of its Traffic Index 2017, an annual report about traffic congestion …
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Missed News Roundup – March-17

Every week we receive numerous press releases related to transport and we only tend to comment on a few of them. Here are a couple that piqued our interest but not quite enough for a full post of their own. Parnell Station opens While the first services started using the station on Sunday, Monday saw the official opening of the new Parnell Station. Currently only the Southern Line stops there regularly with the Western Line only stopping in the evenings and on weekends. We’ve talked a lot about the station in previous posts so don’t need to re-litigate that here. As it stands the station is bare bones and AT even …
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ATs Parking App is live

The days of parking meters are numbered now that AT have released their parking app. Back in May last year, Auckland Transport released a video about their new parking strategy and in one part of it they mentioned they were working on a mobile app to let you pay for on-street parking without having to go to a machine to buy a ticket. This is part of a plan to thin out parking meters, which I understand are obsolete, before eventually removing them completely. In January it was reported that it had been delayed till late February or March. Well it appears that AT have quietly launched it, with a more formal launch coming …
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Kapiti Expressway stage one: Review

This is a guest post by architect and our occassional Wellington correspondent Guy Marriage The first section of the Kapiti Expressway opened on 24 February, at 4am, with little fanfare. As an immediate response to this implicit request, that induced me to make some more traffic by driving up and down the new road, just to see what it is like. While the section opened up so far is long, from McKays Crossing just north of Paekakariki, stretching north over 20 km nearly to Otaki, it is also completely finished and the verges are well planted. Overall, of course, the Expressway has more to be done, both north (to bypass Otaki) …
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RoNS 2.0?

The government’s Roads of National Significance have dominated transport spending over the last eight years and within the next 4-5 years, almost all of the motorways originally proposed will have been completed. Yet despite this, current plans are for transport spending on state highways is set to continue to increase over the coming years – NZTA are currently forecast to spend $1.9 billion on state highways this financial year, based on MoT projections, by 2024-25 this it is likely to be close to $2.9 billion a year. Although they’re not (yet) officially called it, signs are pointing to the government preparing for RoNS 2.0. Some of these signs have been public comments and commitments and others …
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Quietening Ellerslie

News yesterday that the NZTA have confirmed they’ll add noise barriers to the motorway through Ellerslie. Ellerslie residents suffering from motorway noise are in for relief with confirmation new barriers will be built along a section of State Highway 1. The NZ Transport Agency is also investigating noise barriers for other sections of urban motorways in Auckland. Work on the Ellerslie barriers will begin by the middle of the year, Transport Minister Simon Bridges said. “I’m confident that the installation of these noise barriers will significantly reduce the disturbance caused to residents by traffic noise from the motorway. They’re a good solution that will make a noticeable difference.” NZTA could not …
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Time to replace our failed safety strategy

Since 2010, the NZTA have had 10-year road safety strategy called Safer Journeys. The Safer Journeys website describes it as: Safer Journeys is the government’s strategy to guide improvements in road safety over the period 2010 to 2020. The strategy’s vision is a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury and introduces the Safe System approach to New Zealand. The Safe System recognises that people make mistakes and are vulnerable in a crash. It reduces the price paid for a mistake so crashes don’t result in loss of life or limb. Mistakes are inevitable – deaths and serious injuries from road crashes are not. Within the strategy there …
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