At last Wednesday’s meeting of Auckland Council transport committee there was an update about progress that Auckland Transport is making on the Panmure busway section of the AMETI project. Back in April this year I looked at this project in quite a bit of detail, noting that things have come a long way in the right direction from the days where we were expecting no more than basic bus lanes out of the $1.3 billion being spent on AMETI.
The busway section of the Panmure part of AMETI will be in phase two – shown in green below:The details on the busway doesn’t seem to have change too much from where things were in April, which is probably a good thing as it means the route is now pretty set and decided upon:Where a lot of work seems to have been focused on is the Panmure station interchange, and we see some pretty detailed designs for the station/bus interchange now. This is a very good thing as hopefully it means the thinking is shifting towards running many more buses as feeder services to Panmure – where people can change onto the train to complete their journey. The designs look pretty good too:Let’s hope the bus stops for the RTN services (which will come from Flat Bush, Botany and Pakuranga) are put as close to the train station as possible. It also looks like there’s some real integration with land-use around the interchange – although I am not entirely sure of the likelihood of much of this development happening anytime soon, as Sylvia Park continues to destroy the viability of Panmure’s town centre.
It also looks like some serious thinking has gone into the design of Panmure station, bringing it up to a standard akin to New Lynn station – befitting its role as a key transfer point:There is significant funding set aside for AMETI in Auckland Council’s draft Long Term Plan, although many of the most expensive parts of the project are (thankfully as they mostly consist of huge road widenings) not scheduled for construction until after 2020. However, I think that the rate AMETI’s construction proceeds is likely to be very dependent on the funding NZTA has available to assist the council, through its subsidising role. As we all know, NZTA’s funding for local road projects is very much squeezed in the latest Government Policy Statement, while lower than expected fuel fax revenue is likely to place their ability to contribute to the project in even greater question.