Auckland Transport have proposed some changes to New North Road bus services – which is a good thing as the current buses are an absolute mess. Here are the details:
What are the proposed changes?
It is proposed to simplify all services running along New North Road to improve frequency and reliability and to reduce overcrowding.
- Future services will be timetabled to create a frequency of at least one bus every 15 minutes between Avondale and the City, 7am – 7pm, Monday to Friday. During peak hours buses will run approximately every 5 minutes. No change to weekend frequencies at this time.
- All future services will go via St Lukes. There will be no service on New North Road between St Lukes Road and Morningside Drive.
- All inbound routes in central Auckland will go via Symonds St, Wellesley St and terminate at Victoria St in the vicinity of Victoria Park (see future services map).
- Outbound buses will continue to use Victoria St and Waterloo Quadrant.
- Services will no longer go via Bond St, Great North Road and K Rd or via Ian McKinnon Drive and Upper Queen St.
- The deviation along Carrington Road, Fontenoy Street, Margaret Avenue, Martin Avenue, Rossgrove Terrace, Asquith Avenue and Wairere Avenue will be removed.
From Rosebank Road in Avondale all buses will take the same route so passengers travelling between Avondale and Midtown will be able to take any 221 to 224 bus.
And the thinking behind them:
Why are we proposing changes?
- To make better use of the services that travel along New North Road
- To simplify the routes from fourteen to five so that passengers will be able to more easily identify the bus they require
- To increase frequencies along the routes so that passenger waiting time will be reduced
- To provide local communities along the route with more frequent access to St Lukes (every 15 minutes instead of every 30 minutes)
- To serve the new intensive residential development around St Lukes
- To provide an hourly service along Patiki Road on Sundays
- To improve trip time through the city centre by taking the inbound services via Wellesley Street instead of Waterloo Quadrant
- To provide more capacity through Kingsland and Eden Terrace
- To improve access to the Victoria Park area
- To make it easier to turn buses around in the city as Federal St will no longer be available if it is turned into a shared space. To restart the next trip they will terminate and start in the same place
Overall I support the changes, though with a few points:
- I’m not sure whether it’s really necessary to keep the 224 running to Henderson and quite a few buses, plus the trains, already do that trip between Henderson and New Lynn.
- It seems like all the express bus services have been removed, which is a bit odd and likely to be unpopular one would think.
- Sending every trip via St Lukes basically just makes the trip for anyone who isn’t going to St Lukes quite a bit longer – which is annoying. While obviously St Lukes is a big trip generator, this just highlights that it’s in the wrong location – fundamentally.
- What this route really needs is some bus lanes, especially through Kingsland shops where the buses get held up for ages during the morning peak.
It’s nice to see that Auckland Transport are still looking at ways of making small interim improvements to the bus network, in advance of rolling out the full new network over the next few years.