A north western busway, new park and rides, an alternative corridor parallel to State Highway 16 through Kumeu/Huapai, extended commuter rail services and state highway improvements are part of potential transport plans to support large numbers of new houses in north west Auckland.
The public have a unique opportunity to help set the direction for the transport needed during the next 30 years for future communities around Whenuapai, Red Hills, Kumeu, Huapai and Riverhead. These areas are currently rural land outside urban limits.
This is part of a six week public consultation on potential transport solutions for future urban growth areas in north west, north and south Auckland. Consultation in north west Auckland will take place from 3 to 17 March, focussing on what transport priorities should be and a range of potential projects. Four weeks of further public consultation will start in April.
The feedback will be used to help identify the transport network needed to support the area’s growth during the next 30 years, which Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency are working together on.
Rodney councillor Penny Webster says significant new transport infrastructure will be needed to support about 30,000 new houses and 13,000 new jobs in the north west.
“It is important we identify early what is needed so projects can be developed and in place before new housing and businesses go in,” she says.
Waitakere councillor and deputy mayor Penny Hulse says at this stage public feedback is needed on what people believe future residents’ transport priorities will be and what people think about a menu of transport ideas being considered.
“It is a good opportunity for people to help guide what mix of transport projects need to happen,” she says.
Fellow Waitakere councillor Linda Cooper says the plans should give the public confidence that work is underway to provide transport for new housing and allow them to give feedback on the type of transport that future communities will need.
“Getting transport well integrated with future communities to ensure they are well connected and great places to live will be a priority. Making sure jobs are easy for people to get to is also very important.”
Auckland Transport, Key Strategic Initiatives Project Director, Theunis van Schalkwyk says a plan to support Auckland’s expected growth during the next 10 years is already in place, with a number of projects already complete, under construction or well advanced in planning.
“We are also working closely with developers to deliver new transport for special housing areas as they are built.
“This work is focused on identifying the additional new and upgraded transport infrastructure for future housing and business areas which will be built on land that is currently rural.”
The NZ Transport Agency’s Auckland Regional Director, Ernst Zöllner says improved transport will include a mix of public transport, new or upgraded roads, footpaths and cycleways, upgraded state highways and smarter use of existing infrastructure.”
“After recommending transport networks the next stage will be to prioritise projects for inclusion in future investment programmes.”
The recommended networks will also be used to help inform discussions between the Government and Auckland Council on agreeing an approach to develop the city’s transport system (the Auckland Transport Alignment Project).
HAVE YOUR SAY:
Public information days
Thursday 10 March, 4pm to 8pm, Kumeu Masonic Hall, 74 State Highway 16, Kumeu.
Saturday 12 March, 10am to 2pm, Whenuapai Village Hall, 41 Waimarie Road, Whenuapai.