Major boost for Coast transport projects

The Hibiscus Coast stands to gain from around a billion dollars of investment in transport-related infrastructure over the next decade, which Cr John Watson says makes this area a major beneficiary of the recent Auckland Council and central government transport packages.

“When you put projects in the Regional Fuel Tax, Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) and the Regional Land Transport Plan together the results for the Coast are impressive – better than any other part of Auckland,” Cr Watson says. “For me the standouts are Penlink, the bus shoulder lanes from Albany to Orewa and the Northern Motorway improvements that began recently.”

Some projects are being funded solely by the government and others, such as Penlink, will occur only through money raised by the Regional Fuel Tax. Penlink has been put towards the end of the decade (2025 at the earliest) in ATAP, but Cr Watson says there’s a good chance this will be brought forward, given the project’s advanced stage of planning.

He says the Hibiscus Coast will also benefit from projects in the city that are designed largely to provide for bus and ferry commuters from the north.

“In the lead up to these announcements it was clear that any support for the Council programme would be contingent on equity across the Auckland region. I guess it’s up to people to decide now whether that has been delivered and in particular whether they think the 11.5 cents fuel tax is worth what will be delivered in our area.”

This is what the packages commit to funding locally:
Regional Fuel Tax funded projects
Penlink, 2-lane version – estimated cost $250-$300m. Cr Watson says $66m of this will come from the regional fuel tax, $100m from government, $34m from developer contributions, the balance from tolling.
Park and Rides – the Coast is one of three areas in Auckland identified as receiving new and improved facilities.
Ferry redevelopment – Cr Watson says the Gulf Harbour ferry service will benefit from the redevelopment of the Downtown Ferry Terminal, which will increase the ease and speed of ferries. Money will go towards increased ferry services. Also in the package, but unfunded at present, is a ferry terminal for Gulf Harbour.
Cr Watson says there are a number of transport projects tied to growth in Silverdale and Dairy Flat that will take place, but that it is unclear from the documents whether the Curley Avenue bridge and connector into Silverdale is funded or not.
Local road safety and network improvements include local intersection upgrades and further improvements associated with the Whangaparaoa Dynamic Laning trial.
Bus infrastructure in Auckland – a new bus interchange in Albert Street and facilities at Wellesley Street will primarily benefit bus commuters from the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast at their city arrival/departures ($62 m). There are also to be general improvements to northern bus network services.

NZ Transport Agency/government investment programme
Northern Motorway Improvements – a $700m project which started recently and will add extra motorway lanes between Greville Road and Constellation Drive and extend the Northern Busway to Albany. Drivers and bus commuters from the Upper East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast are the main beneficiaries of these works.
Albany to Orewa bus lane extension – this is a $324m project to provide bus shoulder lanes between Albany and Orewa and an additional $8m to investigate bus reliability and upgrade Silverdale interchange to address congestion.


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