In early February the blog set out to once again highlight Auckland Transport’s lack of progress on implementing any bus lanes, and highest priority we thought was fixing the Fanshawe Street westbound, which consisted of a few isolated and dysfunctional sections, but mostly had nothing at all. We proposed a quick, easy fix solution, just consisting of reallocating some general traffic lanes, so the 70% of people in buses would get a faster road home.
This post gained the attraction of several councillors, and was followed up by the Campaign for Better Transport. This resulted in the proposal gaining the attention of Auckland Transport Board chair Lester Levy, who asked for further investigation, which found the idea was feasible. This was announced in early March, and then they said the timing would be about three months.
However this afternoon Auckland Transport have sent out a new press release, showing that detailed design has been completed, and the design sounds very similar to what we proposed.
Bus commuters heading home along Fanshawe Street are to get a new predominantly kerbside bus lane.
The shore bound bus lane will start from Albert St and connect to the existing bus lane beside Victoria Park to keep buses moving to the northern motorway through this key traffic corridor.
Auckland Transport public transport group manager Mark Lambert says Auckland Transport has weighed up options for implementing a bus lane and believes that a kerbside lane after Hobson Street is the optimal solution. Between Albert and Hobson Streets the bus lane will be in the second lane from the kerb to allow for the heavy volume of traffic that turns left to access the southern and western motorway entrances.
“Further along the route, there is a significant traffic movement left into Halsey St which requires additional queuing space to operate effectively,” says Mr Lambert.
Seventy per cent of the people who travel on Fanshawe St at peak are in a bus and there’s a bus about every 40 seconds.
Mr Lambert says Auckland Transport has given priority to installing a new interim bus lane for shore bound commuters while longer term plans continue to extend the Northern Busway to and from the city centre.
What is really exciting is that a follow up email to their communications people revealed that the bus lane would be implemented between Easter and Anzac weekend, less than 2 weeks away! This is only just over 2 months since our blog post, and only one month since they agreed it was a feasible option. This is a very exciting development, as many of our frustrations with Auckland Transport relate to the speed at which they are able to implement their plans, and they do have plenty of decent plans around public transport improvements. Lets hope this is a sign of change within the organisation, and ensures they keep moving on implementing quick win projects, notably bus lanes, but also opportunities around walking and cycling infrastructure as well.