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Is Penlink about to be approved?

Next week John Key is expected to announce the government’s support for starting the main works of the City Rail Link in 2018, at least two years ahead of what he said in 2013. He is expected to announce this at a luncheon being held by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and it’s expected the announcement will cover not just the CRL but likely a package of projects. Many have suggested that they think he’ll also announce details about the Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing and the East-West Link, both of which the NZTA and Auckland Transport are expected to progress getting consent for this year. In the NBR’s article on Key’s announcement they included some thoughts from Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Michael Barnett.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said Key’s address would cover the issue of infrastructure funding for the region, similar to the June 2013 speech to the chamber’s membership in which he confirmed joint funding for CRL.

“I’m expecting a significant funding package similar to what Key gave in June 2013 and that he will use this occasion to say ‘ok, we can give more certainty to some projects’. What we have at the moment is so conditional, it’s difficult for plans to be put in place,” Barnett said.

Barnett said the other projects he expected Key to comment on include the East/West Connections project which would improve connections between Onehunga and Mt Wellington which is heavily used by industry, the $380 million Penlink arterial route between Whangaparoa Road and State Highway 1 which is touted as a potential public-private partnership business model, and a second harbour crossing.

It’s the middle of those three projects in the last paragraph – Penlink – that raised my eyebrows. There are a few reasons for this.

Penlink Map - 2015 Presentation

Auckland Transport recently applied for and obtained approval to widen the existing designation to create a 4-lane divided expressway. Perhaps Auckland Transport have been looking longingly at the NZTA and really want a motorway they can call their own. We also know that the NZTA had been pushing for Auckland Transport to progress the project as a PPP tied in with the one they are planning for Puhoi to Warkworth – however they’ve already short-listed contractors for that project.

The council and government are deep in the middle of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) which is meant to be reviewing options and timings for future transport projects in Auckland. Projects already underway or with funding confirmed for the near future are excluded, as are projects such as the City Rail Link but based on the timing as far as I’m aware that doesn’t include Penlink (I also believe AWHC is included within the ATAP scope). If Key was to come out and accelerate these projects or make funding announcements, it would undermine one of the key reasons for undertaking the alignment process in the first place.

Even putting aside ATAP, the councils recent Long Term Plan doesn’t have the project starting till the decade starting in 2025 (page 11). It did include the project in it’s everything including the kitchen sink funding package paid for by tolls or increased fuel costs but that wasn’t passed. Interestingly Auckland Transport’s website lists the project starting construction in 2021. What do they know that the council don’t.

The biggest reason for concern is the project itself and what AT claim it will achieve. They say the key objectives are:

  • Improve travel times and reliability.
  • Improve network performance and resilience.
  • Facilitate economic activity, planned growth and transport mode choice.

So let’s look at Penlink does based on information AT provide.

The project is about enabling more growth in the North however critically there is actually very little growth that is expected to occur on the Peninsula itself, most of the growth is around Silverdale or west of the motorway. A summary of the residential and business growth expected is below.

Penlink Map - Household Growth

There’s also almost no growth in employment on the peninsula

Penlink Map - Employment Growth

Developments in Orewa have access to the motorway at Grand Dr and at Millwater a new set of motorway ramps have been built at Wainui Rd so the main argument seems to be that Penlink is needed to get cars from the Peninsula off the Hibiscus Coast Highway where more business growth is expected. Given how much of a pet project Penlink was to the former Rodney District Council it makes me wonder how much the growth there was part of a deliberate strategy to help justify Penlink in the future.

Looking at the issue of travel time and reliability as well as network performance AT include a number of outputs from their modelling and they present some very odd results. The show the predicted travel times both with and without Penlink to three destinations, to Grand Dr, to Silverdale Township and to Beverly Dr which is where Penlink joins into Whangaparoa Rd. They’ve also broken down the journey into three parts. From Oteha Valley Rd to Redvale where the Penlink Interchange would be, from Redvale to Silverdale interchange and from Silverdale to the final locations.

Penlink Travel Time map locations

Here are the results for all three and they seem completely not believable or based on any kind of plausible reality. The first thing that strikes me about them are the claimed travel times in 2041 both with and without Penlink. At more than an hour just to get from Oteha Valley Rd they seem to be assuming that traffic is going to merrily just pile up and no one will attempt to change their travel time, mode or both. It’s worth noting that the base case for both options also assumes the NZTA will widen SH1 between Oteha Valley Rd and Silverdale to three lanes each way at around 2031.

Penlink Travel Time - Grand Dr

Penlink Travel Time - Silverdale Township

Penlink Travel Time - Beverley Rd

What I also find odd is that within none of the documents AT have published is there any mention of the impact of the traffic volumes on SH1 south of Oteha Valley Rd. If they’re this bad north of there it must require SH1 pumping a ton of traffic north or alternatively a lot joining at Oteha Valley Rd to head north. If traffic is this bad then as some readers like to frequently suggest, perhaps some road pricing to better manage demand is needed – and before we embark on spending $380 million on this motorway.

Speaking of road pricing the documents do talk a lot about Penlink being tolled. They say it would use the same system as used on the Northern Gateway motorway north of Orewa and the cost would match that toll road – at the time $2.20 for light vehicles and $4.40 for heavy vehicles. By 2041 the predicted 16,600 vehicles a day crossing the Weiti Bridge (where the toll gantry will be) will be paying about $13.5 million a year in toll revenue. Interestingly the modelling suggests that without a toll, traffic volumes would be 23k-24k per day across the bridge.

Penlink Toll Revenue Collectoin

Over 30 years they say the estimated toll revenue is $321 million which has a net present value of $112 million. Toll collection costs over that period are $77 million with a NPV of $28 million so at NPV that leaves around $84 million to go towards paying for the project. Of course the project is expected to cost around $380 million so the tolls won’t cover all that much.

Penlink Toll Revenue vs costs

Despite the cost of project roughly doubling over the last few years AT claim the project is positive economically. They actually list two Benefit Cost Ratio’s, a National BCR of 2.5 and a Government BCR of 3.1. Please correct me economists but as I understand it the Government BCR counts all benefits but only accounts for the net financial cost i.e. project costs minus toll revenue while the National BCR accounts for the full cost of the project.

Based on the language in the Business Case it seems almost certain that Penlink will be built as a Public Private Partnership where they finance, build and operate the road while AT pay for it to be open. This is the same as is happening with Transmission Gully in Wellington and will happen with Puhoi to Warkworth.

On the final objective facilitating transport mode choice. It seems to me there’s a very high chance that if built AT would leave buses to go the long way via Silverdale and Whangaparoa Rd which will only serve to further reinforce driving. The business case talking about buses seems boil down to a “buses can use roads too” argument and the only thing excluded from the project scope is:

Whilst facilitating and providing opportunities for improved public transport is part of the Project, the provision of public transport services and prioritised bus lanes on Whangaparaoa Road is not part of the Project.

Lastly it’s worth comparing the approach taken to the discussion back in 2010. 
alternatives-penlink

Back then widening Whangaparoa Rd was seen as a better option as the $20-26 million cost delayed the need for the hugely expensive Penlink. They now say that option isn’t viable as they’ll eventually need Penlink anyway.

So overall it seems like Penlink stacks up but that’s on the back of some very odd figures around travel times. The business case suggests that in the absence of funding constraints the project could have started in July this year – although that would be unlikely given the lead in time needed to procure it through a PPP. So perhaps John Key will kick that process off next week.

145 comments to Is Penlink about to be approved?

  • RB

    For anyone who lives on the peninsula Penlink is great news. Ever tried to get out there during weekdays (weekends are bad enough)?? Just be positive that the government is doing something positive. The whole world doesn’t end when rate and taxpayers get real benefits outside of PT.

    • Bryce P

      Yip. You’ll get to the tail at Oteha Valley a bit quicker. And tgat tail will grow as more people move in. Best of luck. Those rose tinted glasses work wonders.

      • Bruce

        a bit quicker….?
        for most people it will save them at least 10 minutes (it will also save people who live in Silverdale, Red Beach Orewa etc due to less traffic on HBC Hwy) that is direct time savings (much shorter distance and capacity). That is not to mention the time-savings from accidents etc (ask ANYONE who lives on the HBC what a simple little accident does.. unlike the rest of Auckland the smallest accident literally causes massive disruption easily adding 30 minutes to travel times – or pretty much every year on at least a few occasions at least 1 hour disruption – on top of the regular travel time).
        Yes once they get to Oteha they will have the traffic but they will have already saved about 10 minutes and over the space of a year about 2000km each and about $300 in petrol costs – saving that CO2 along the way).

        • Bryce P

          Have you worked out yet that more residents in not only Whangaparaoa but also the greater Silverdale area and Warkworth, will make this tail longer and more severe? I drive this daily so I’ve got pretty good knowledge of it. A light rail line from The Plaza to the city, via Silverdale station would give consistent travel times for a huge number of people and help keep congestion steady.

        • Bryce P

          In my opinion, Within 5 years that 10 minutes will have been completely cancelled out.

    • JimboJones

      As a rate/tax payer it feels like I’m subsidising a small number of people who chose to live close to the beach instead of close to work. Hardly the end of the world, but still doesn’t mean its the best use of transport funding…

      • Bruce

        Jimbo, sorry but while there are some people that live there for that reason, these days most people live there simply because house prices in Auckland are out of control and the only place they can afford is on the outskirts (HBC, Out West and out South). Out South has rail and has had a bunch of roads built. Out West also has rail and has had a bunch of roads built. North has the motorway past Silverdale and Orewa but nothing for the Peninsular which has a large and growing population (those figures in the graphics are based on there not being the ability to grow much further without improved access. I would expect that the population will likely double on the peninsular within 25 years if Penlink goes ahead…just like how large parts of Auckland are growing and intensifying to accommodate the rapidly growing population). Bus services to the HBC have been a joke for so long and are only now starting to become viable for many with the extension of NEX services and the new network but still leave a lot to be desired if they want to get people out of cars. Even with that fully functioning Penlink is still required.

    • Bruce

      +1 RB. This should have been built years ago. But don’t say that too loudly or Matt will get his knickers in a twist because it isn’t a project in central Auckland.

      • What has Central Auckland got to do with it? Did you read the post where I mention that based on the numbers it doesn’t do anything to really improve things for the areas where the growth of occurring out south of Redvale which of claimed to be chocka.

        BTW I live out west and work on the shore so no Central Auckland bias

        • Bruce

          Central Auckland is the focus of both AT and TB…. Sure it does need it and we all appreciate how the CRL will unlock the rest of the rail network etc. The point is that there are real tangible things that can be done (particularly on the Shore/HBC in this case) that would improve things for those people (particularly when they often don’t get much benefit from some of the central projects).
          Lucky you avoiding most of the traffic (whichever mode you take, how would that be without the extra bridge at Greenhithe/Hobsonville?).

          • Warren S

            Bruce – Are you a one person in a car commuter travelling down the northern motorway each day?

          • Bruce

            No Warren I am not. I do drive to Albany to the park n ride however with my better looking half for the bus 🙂

          • Warren S

            Bruce, the reason I ask, is that the continued development, including widening, of the motorway northward means that, with the increased volume of commuter traffic from outlying areas, it is becoming harder than ever to enter the motorway at Tristram etc And the galling thing is that those from a distance and already on the motorway have preference over those of us living closer to Auckland city, as far as entry to the motorway is concerned. Furthermore we have to use the Harbour Bridge.

            For the record I use the busway from Sunnynook if I am visiting the CBD or catching the rail. If going beyond the CBD to other parts of the city I use my car.
            My view is that I don’t think expenditure on Penlink is justified before completion of the CRL, rail to the airport and either a rail or light rail by rail only tunnel under the Waitemata Harbour to at least as far as Takapuna. These are priorities to restore the balance of expenditure between modes. After that we can resume some road building.

          • Bruce

            Warren: CRL is going ahead and has already started. It is almost certain that the Govt will be announcing their portion of the funding for this (probably at the same time as Penlink). I agree that rail to the airport needs to happen and rail to the Shore as well and LR down Dominion Rd would be nice too.
            The vast majority of people living on the HBC aren’t travelling into the city (just too far for most and those that do tend to take the bus). Where they are travelling to for the most part is the Shore (Albany, NHIE, Wairau, Takapuna etc). The issues you have getting on at Tristram are for the most part related to the growth around Long Bay, Albany and with growing traffic from out West). Lucky you can afford to live in Sunnynook or other nearby suburbs…. when the average price in that area is now over $900,000 the vast majority of the population cannon afford to live there…. those pesky poorer people from the outskirts….

          • Warren S

            Bruce – There is an aura of stupidity about the whole way the Transport portfolio is run by the Government who set passenger and employment goals before committing to any funding of the CRL. They do not set the same parameters for any roading project that I am aware of.

            There needs to be a serious reform of the way in which transport of all forms is funded but as a conservative voter I do not know if this Government has the willingness or guts to tackle it. The reform must ensure (especially for Auckland) that public transport is financed on the same basis as roads.

            In a big city like Auckland roads only are not spatially efficient and for quality of place rail should be given first priority. Sensible decision making by Government would have ensured that the CRL was half finished by now with construction of rail to the airport about to commence and before the Kirkbride intersection upgrade.

            Motorway expansion tends to favour people living at the extremities – look what happened to Newton and K Road when the the CMJ was built and I don’t want to see a repeat of that sort destruction and decline of the inner city

          • Adam W

            +1
            Well said

          • Bruce

            Which is fine Warren, except that Penlink isn’t through an urban environment… it is through a rural environment linking an urban environment as close as possible to the main city urban environment.

          • Bryce P

            The vast majority, at peak, are going into the city. Or further south. Stats show this as well as my personal observations.

          • Bruce

            what stats Bryce? and personal observation….really?? I’d love to know how you managed that one?! How would you know if most of the cars that go past Greville are going to the city (or South of the city as you think) compared to getting off at various points along the North Shore? Is that White Corolla from Silverdale? How about that black Mazda 3? Maybe that red Hilux?
            Sure there are some that go through and you might even see one with some sign writing on it for some business up North but I don’t know too many people up on the HBC that drive to the city (or South of it) for work on a daily basis… plenty catch the bus into the city.

          • Bryce P

            At 5 to 10 km/h it’s quite easy to track vehicles but as you wont believe me, will the census data do?

            http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/08/14/census-2013-auckland-travel-patterns/

            http://www.stats.govt.nz/datavisualisation/commuterview/index.html

  • Anything can be ‘proven’ necessary when you write the definition of what is required cleverly enough: ‘provide for long term and strategic access to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula via an alternate route’. There, it is impossible for improving the existing route to be an alternative. They just defined the better option out of existence.

    What is the long term strategy referred to in the above statement that this road is designed to satisfy? Ah to assist ‘committing traffic …[to] Albany, Takapuna, and the Auckland CBD’, essentially it is to incentivise distant settlement and long private vehicle commutes. And for a place that cannot grow, it doesn’t have any meaningful impact on dwelling land supply, so then is it to increase the value of existing properties, at the expense of all ratepayers? This is a very poor and out dated strategy, and one that the ratepayers of Auckland need to revisit, if this city is to succeed this century. It is, in fact not even the current strategy being completely contrary to high level aims in the Auckland Plan, particularly its environmental aims; this is simply a SOV enabler, and the aim to make a ‘transformational shift to outstanding public transport’ and move to a ‘quality compact city’.

    At least it is to be tolled, but is that at sufficient level?

    • Bruce

      plenty of space to grow… there are massive areas that aren’t developed on the peninsular for starters. Most sections up there are single dwelling only (due to restrictions because of traffic issues). A lot of old baches etc too that are slowly being redeveloped (but little incentive too since they can often only build a single dwelling to replace). There is a decent size apartment complex next to the Plaza shops (with space for more nearby), there is a new lot of apartments going in right where Penlink will meet Whangaparaoa Road, along with apartments out at Gulf Harbour. With decent transport in place there is plenty of scope for much higher density housing which would of course facilitate improved frequency and use of PT – currently a lot of routes are lucky to have 2 if not 1 bus per hour…
      Also not forgetting Stillwater… there is a lot of space there for development (especially further up towards the motorway) which isn’t possible at the moment due to the access road being one of the worst roads in all of Auckland… it is lethal and by shear luck there aren’t more fatal accidents on it.

    • I think it is easy for people not living on the peninsula to not get the point of Penlink. It is really the only good option. I live on Whangaparaoa Road, and the traffic is horrendous every day, most of the day. Silverdale especially gets clogged very quickly, and this is where a lot of growth of happening. There is also plenty of room for growth on the peninsula, Gulf Harbour still has plenty of space, as does the town centre. The only disappointment for me is that it isn’t being compared to a project such as a rail connection to Silverdale, which would also help. It takes a long time to travel out to the peninsula, because it is such a dog leg. It is most certainly a useful project, but it takes some perspective to understand that. Most Coasties get it though

  • North Shore = white flight National party heartland = pork barrel projects for unreformed drivers.

  • Adam W

    If I am looking at the maps above correctly, there are an expected 5000 new houses and very little new jobs and they get a 380 million transport spend.
    Whereas Pukekohe is looking at 50,000 new homes and 9000 new jobs over the next 30 years and they can’t put in the 110 million electrification?? With all the other benefits of only one set of trains, reduced opex etc.
    Complete madness and shows there is no evidence or numbers behind the projects chosen by the Government and it appears Auckland Transport as well.
    SH1 clogs up around Silverdale, well it clogs up around Drury as well so that is no argument

    • It seems the driver domiciled north of the bridge is in a special category, where no expense is ever deemed out of proportion to its benefits, and where infrastructure to maintain ever increase value of existing property is more important than that likely to enable additional supply.

      • Verily, they are the chosen one in 5 of the region’s volk. Need a third car-only harbour crossing? Sure! Backrub with that commute? We’re on it.

        • Bryce P

          Have we quite finished putting all North Shore drivers in the same basket?

          • Bryce it is the policy to support this category disproportionately and inefficiently that is being criticised, not individuals.

          • Bryce P

            Sacha’s comment doesnt read that way. The chosen ones huh?

            There are people who live north of the bridge who are villified in social media, media and at public meetings for daring to have a different view than many. Daring to promote cycle lanes, or busways, or not building roads.

          • My comment is directed at the warped focus of decison-makers, not residents. With most of the region’s future growth South and West (and isthmus intensification if the nimbys don’t succeed), that’s where our non-infinite transport investment needs to go – not into building even more options for cars and trucks servicng a small proportion of the region’s citizens, communities and businesses. Extend the busway to Orewa and consider rail later by all means, but Penlink, a full Albany highway interchange and a road-only third harbour tunnel are just wasteful nonsense.

      • Bruce

        Where is our train line to the North Shore/Rodney then Patrick? Oh that’s right we don’t get one and it only gets token mention on this blog…most of you would prefer to have light rail going along the NEX.
        All for electrification to Puke btw (and on to the Tron and Tauranga) but when it comes to North Shore transport TB loves to think everyone wants to drive a car when there aren’t very good alternatives for most (sure there are buses…but then whenever buses come up in the rest of Auckland the argument is always how they just aren’t as nice as LR or HR – which is true but hey those pesky North Shore people can have them). The hypocrisy at times is astonishing. /rant over 🙂

        • Adam W

          There are key difference’s between electrification to Pukekohe and rail to the shore;
          1. Cost, 110 million compared to billions to get across the harbour
          2. Gaps in existing network; There is a big whole in the current network with is between Papakura and Pukekohe were a separate fleet has to be maintained and operated just for a single station – completely bonkers. Should finish the current network before building a new one. Also services, Pukekohe always finishes early and when there are special services such as trains after Fleetwood Mac there is a damn rail bus which makes getting home a very long trip.
          3. Growth — there is massive growth planned, by tripling the population around Pukekohe, whereas I believe growth planned on the shore is quite modest. Money should be prioritized to be spent where the growth is planned.

          I can understand your frustration, and I agree there should be rail to the shore – but the gaps in the existing system have to be plugged first.

        • jezza

          Have you seriously not been reading recent posts on this blog about how a rail crossing to the North Shore is a better option than a road crossing, that doesn’t sound like buses to me!

          • Bruce

            most of those are referring to having a rail (and LR at that) to Takapuna only and maybe, just maybe having LR run along the NEX.

          • jezza

            I would hardly call this:

            http://transportblog.co.nz/2015/03/31/an-alternative-awhc/

            maybe, just maybe advocating for LR along the busway, sounds like quite strong advocacy to me.

          • Bruce

            in what time-frame jezza? some distant time in the future…. in the meantime everyone on the Shore should just suck it?

          • Bryce P

            Bruce, if we stopped spending cash and political and local advocacy resources on road tunnels under the harbour and PENLINK, you’d have rail much, much faster

          • jezza

            The North Shore is already being served by one of only three rapid transit routes in Auckland, the others being the Southern and Eastern lines (soon to be joined by the Western line when it goes to 6tph), which will be further extended to Albany in a few years, I don’t think the North Shore is missing out, the East and the North-West are the obvious gaps in this equation.

            Of course at some point there will need to be tracks laid over to the shore, I don’t have a good enough understanding of the engineering and topographic limitations all the way to Silverdale to say whether it should be light or heavy.

          • Bruce

            which was paid for by the NSCC not by the Auckland region or NZTA. The busway is good and works but it is still a poor cousin compared to rail which the rest of Auckland has and which is notable considering it has around 1/5 of the total Auckland population and pays a greater portion of rates and taxes per capita than most if not all other areas in Auckland

          • jezza

            As far as I can tell the busway was primarily funded ($180m) by Transfund (nowdays NZTA) with contributions from NSCC and ARTA (AT’s predecessor).

            http://www.propbd.co.nz/northern-busway-funding-approved/

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0405/S00201/mayor-welcomes-busway-funding-decision.htm

          • Matthew W

            Why is the busway a poor cousin compared to rail?

          • The Busway is grand! But it stops at the bridge, and faces real capacity constraints in the city. Solutions to these problems include various options including new bridges or tunnels and more priority on city streets, and/or under ground bus or other RTN systems. So spatial geometry issues. Additionally NZTA are now saying that the number and size of buses [DDs] on the bridge are a problem for that structure. And even the capacity of the Busway itself is projected to max out by 2041. Short term the answer is more city streets turned over to full bus priority.

            Longer term an additional Harbour Crossing is warranted. And if adding a new crossing and adding capacity then converting the Busway to some form of rail RTN at that point is certainly an appealing option, as it would address all of these issues as well as address additional ones such as carbon emissions and other pollution. Rail makes for smaller diameter and easier to ventilate tunnels and higher capacity zero air pollution system, which also offers greater spatial efficiency important for the city end. A new direct RTN route will also be more direct and quicker between the city and Shore.

            So yes, for higher capacity, spatial efficiency, renewable energy powered, and pollution reasons rail is better, and will become necessary. When this is the case really has more to do with the politics of the Harbour Crossing. It is my view that building the RTN crossing next will be the most efficient and cost effective solution, reducing the ‘need’ for more road lanes across the harbour for decades, and helping to reduce traffic congestion throughout the wider city. So while a rail system on the Shore is more expensive than leaving the Busway as it is, it will be cheaper than the road crossing, and provide a better outcome for more on more levels than all alternatives.

            The Busway, and its success, is in fact the reason we can confidently say that rail to the Shore will be the best result. They are not really competing systems, rail and BRT are simply versions of RTN. The competition is between the RTN and trying to ram ever more private vehicles into and through the whole city.

          • Matthew W

            Right yes I understand that where the busway is no longer a busway it is worse than rail (and busway!). I was querying Bruces “poor cousin” comment.

            Interesting about DD’s over the HB. Do you have a link for that. People have talked about LRT on the bridge in the future, Presumably this is therefore not an option?

            One solution would be to run the busway in the centre lanes of the bridge where AFAIK there are no load capacity issues. This could then tie into a median busway on Fanshawe. Obviously it will be pricey to get the busway into the centre over the motorway – but miles cheaper than railways.

          • Yes that is very interesting about DDs and bridge; it’s verbal from NZTA, and I think it’s nonsense, the context was as a justification for their current AWHC project. But as such it surely doesn’t wash as the road AWHC requires PT to still be on the bridge, and if the bridge is stressed by DD then the big LRVs that AT are looking at are clearly impossible. This ideas surely is yet another argument for building a dedicated RTN crossing next.

            The only way it could be even vaguely accurate if they mean DDs on the clip-ons v LRT on the centre span. But still I don’t buy it. The other answer is to move buses, and presumably trucks, to the centre but that is all quite tricky in terms of disruptive lane swapping from the edge bus lanes on the approaches….?

            I know you are obsessed with not spending on capital works, and fair enough, but the problem with dedicating any part of the Bridge to Transit is that in the thinking of those in charge of both our institutions and politics that requires the much, much, more expensive bypass road tunnels first. So therefore it is simply way way more expensive than just building a new, and yes better, dedicated RTN route. And, I contend, but of course this needs detailed analysis, this is likely to be be both better and cost competitive if some form of rail in nature.

          • Matthew W

            Yes I could just imagine the howling if we decided to dedicate two lanes over the bridge to buses. Even though it is the right thing to do.

          • Bruce

            Matt I called it the poor cousin to rail when looking at recent comments in the rail to the airport thread where there were multiple howls from various prolific bloggers when someone suggested just putting in some bus lanes etc to the airport. Various bloggers stated how people don’t like buses much but will happily take a train, and how the capacity of a train is multiples higher than buses.

          • jezza

            There’s quite a difference between a dedicated busway with an 80kmh speed limit, no traffic lights and dedicated stations and putting a some bus lanes in, which appeared to be the suggestion of a number of commentators.

            The blog was quite clear that airport rail is not needed now but will likely be needed in the future, as with high quality rail for the North Shore.

      • Kiri

        You are neglecting the fact that the HBC as a whole has far more growth occuring than that, as well as the huge growth that has already occured since Penlink was first ever suposed to be built. Couple this with the fact HBC provides a LARGE percentage of the rate take of Auckland Council (compared to other areas) and only recieves 30% of that rate take back as spending that benefits us.

        Also, as the non-Peninsula areas grow in this area, further congestion in Silverdale will occur as a result, resulting in further congestion along the Peninsular. For example, Kaukapakapa and Waitoki are expected to grow by 10x the current population in the next 10-15 years and they too enter the motorway at Silverdale. Not to mention the industry up hereand number of vehicular trips daily on Whangaparaoa Rd.

        Plus, the area CAN’T progress economically at the correct levels until this is rectified.

    • Warren S

      And the Herald tells me this morning that Russell Coutts’ new house replaces three formerly separate properties at Tindalls Beach which seems trending as the antithesis of any sort of population increase for the Whangaparaoa Peninsula at all…………….

  • Bryce P

    As for PENLINK, unfortunately the political and local support for this project appears to be resolute and the common argument is “we’ve been promised this for over 20 years”. This doesn’t mean it is right or that the business case actually stands up.

    However, if PENLINK gets the green light there are a number of things to consider.

    1) Auckland Transport refuse to install traffic lights at the Silverdale St / Hibiscus Coast Hwy intersection until PENLINK is built, thus ensuring the severance between the 2 sides of Silverdale.

    2) Hibiscus Coast Highway can then be downgraded to a local road. AT will then revise the speed limit down to 60 km/h from the current 70 km/h. The business association have wanted 60 km/h all along. AT refused.

    3) There will be a window of opportunity to build bus lanes along both Whangaparaoa Road and between Hibiscus Coast Station and Silverdale town centre.

    4) If the 2 sides of Silverdale are ‘re-unified’ there will be a much greater impact on the possibility of added investment in both commercial and residential development that is not entirely possible right now.

    5) With AT’s current belief in LRT to fix all manner of problems, there is potential to run an LRT line all the way to Silverdale and even along Whangaparaoa Road. If we combine the price of 6 laning SH1 / upgrades of Dairy Flat Highway etc, there is a very real business case for this.

  • Good post Matt, pretty clear that Penlink is a silly project… $380 million a lot to spend for a few extra homes, and that modelling is nuts. Completely implausible that 1 hour plus travel times between Albany and Silverdale would be allowed. If the model is telling you that, you do two things: 1) check for errors, and 2) look at a scenario where there’s a busway in place.

  • George D

    How does this compare to an expansion of the bus-lanes?

    • Bryce P

      From memory, the price to extend the busway to Silverdale is about the same as Penlink. However, a full busway is not needed at this time. Get the busway extended to Albany and then a stub to enable efficient connection further north and also build the connection at Silverdale, including busway/buslanes into Silverdale and along Whangaparaoa Rd where easy (there is still on street parking along parts of Whangaparaoa Rd so some time limited bus lanes would be dead easy).

  • JimboJones

    Probably best to wait and see what is actually announced.
    But you have to wonder what AT is thinking – they keep on talking about public transport, but they keep on building roads!

  • And at the same time we are supposed to believe that

    (1) New Zealand is “green”
    (2) New Zealand has low corruption

    Right.

  • JimboJones

    I think North Shore residents should get a vote for either a 2nd harbour crossing and absolutely no other investment for 20 years, or a bunch of projects like Penlink, light rail, lake road upgrade, holiday highway, etc with no new car harbour crossing.
    Surely its a bit unfair to spend $6 billion on a new harbour crossing, $1 billion on holiday highway, $300 million on penlink, etc – meanwhile the rest of Auckland gets Jack.

    • Hey Jimbo what acronym starts with C and ends with RL? There’s your answer.

      • JimboJones

        Yeah that is $2 billion, by my reckoning there is another $16 billion to be announced if each of the former cities is getting more than $6 billion like the north shore seems to be…

      • Kiri

        Gets jack? You clearly haven’t driven alog the NorWestern, SEastern, SWestern or Southern motorways recently!! Or are all those new motorways, motorway widening and arterial routes a figment of my imagination!!
        Not to mention the electrificatio of the rail network,double tracking the rail system and the huge investment in new trains…..
        Oh but those areas “get jack”, right? I think yoh need to reverse that statement! It is north of the bridge that has gotten Jack,especially the old Rodney area!

    • David B

      JJ you’re being silly. All of these roading projects are only gaining political support because AT doesn’t acknowledge that North Shore residents need public transport like the rest of Auckland.

      OK It isn’t AT’s fault that there’s so little public transport infrastructure to begin with, but the lack of planning for the future certainly sits with them. For all of NSCC’s flaws, they at least got the busway built and under budget too. That’s more than AT is planning even looking ten years ahead. They talk about rail to the Shore occasionally and vaguely, but it is always forever away and even then only to Takapuna or along the existing busway.

      New Zealand can’t afford to waste $6 Billion on the monumentally poor investment that is AWHC, and clearly Penlink’s numbers are also suspect, but it’s looking like both will go ahead unless AT significantly raises its public transport planning game within the next 6-12 months. It will be election-minded National Party politicians that drive this spending, fuelled not only by the lack of any other plan for improving transport on the Shore, but also by the big increases in rates taken by the Auckland Council and AT.

      I don’t know what’s going on with our North Shore Councillors, but I voted for and still support Chris Darby who promised rail to the Shore. I hope he hasn’t given up, because there’s still time to turn AT around and start properly planning for public transport to the North Shore and Whangaparoa.

      • Bruce

        Proper rail to the Shore would be a game-changer and together with the Airport Line would make Auckland be able to wear it’s big boy pants for the first time.
        I still think in this extremely low inflation environment the RBNZ/Government should work together and quantitative ease to the tune of $4b pa for 2 years and plow that money into infrastructure (most of it for Auckland but a bit for other places too). In case anyone has been living under a rock Quantitative Easing (QE) is creating money out of thin-air (money printing) and has been done in Japan, USA, UK, EU (arguably China and several other countries) for the past several years. Yes it does have issues if done to excess or not in the right way, however spending it on infrastructure wouldn’t be largely inflationary and long term with the increased productivity can cancel out that inflation.
        So total $8b, give $6b for Auckland projects (IIRC it was $2b to build rail from city to Takapuna, another $1b to modify the NEX to HR through to Albany, $1b towards Airport Rail along with just a standard contribution from the government). $1b to electrify Papakura-Frankton-Tauranga/Palmerston North-Paraparaumu with a few other upgrades along the way. $1b for the South Island (perhaps LR for Chch).

        Side-effects – NZ$ would drop against the US$ by around $0.05 (that is actually a goal of the RBNZ so actually a bonus)
        inflation would likely be stoked by up to 1% pa for 4 years… (again since we currently have 0.3% and the target is 1-3% a good thing).
        would eat at people’s savings… majority of people in NZ don’t have significant savings as they are paying of mortgages etc. Savings will still attract more interest than inflation so not a big issue.
        Damage to NZ’s reputation… If we printed money for the sake of it then yes, however since all of the above countries have been doing this it shouldn’t matter and when we would be doing it purely for infrastructure (rather than because we are in trouble) it shouldn’t matter at all.

      • buttwizard69420

        The poor North Shore, how will you cope with your lack of transport options? And to think the other areas have busways that are so readily converted into light rail and that have regular free services on weekends that no one else gets. Or a busway that’s actually being paid for by the rest of the city after amalgamation. Whatever will you do.

  • Nigel Owen

    If I am reading this correctly in 25 years time you will have to pay a toll to sit in traffic for an hour just to get as far as Albany. If growth and (induced demand) is going to cause this much congestion then surely it would make sense to look at investing the money a public transport network that will take the pressure of the roads and motorways.

    • Brendan

      It’s not an hour, it’s 62 minutes. Hours are long, minutes are short.

      • Yeah made me laugh how they put the higher values in “1 hour, x minutes” but not the 62 minutes.

      • Also this won’t help HC station & the Manly/Gulf Harbour buses, buses will be seen to take an indirect route…

        • Bruce

          Good chance they will have an express service that will take Penlink. It will help buses along the existing route by saving them about 10 minutes of travel time (10 minutes extra in a car is not the end of the world but an extra 10 minutes in a bus is off-putting to many).
          As travel times improve both duration and in reliability then that will make PT more appealing and viable.

          • Sure that is what I was thinking but once again off-peak/weekend PT just gets worse and worse travel times compared to car, thanks to the ridiculous amounts we invest in the car mode. At least currently it mostly aligns with how you would travel by car.

          • Bryce P

            Penlink is actually a very poor option for PT services, even express services. It splits the route in 2 so you either have to find even more money to run expensive express services or run them at half the frequency.

          • Bruce

            Bryce there already are express services out to Gulf Harbour/Army Bay… so for those services yes they would save time and not reduce frequency by taking Penlink.

          • Bryce P

            Yes it would as currently those services pick up passengers along the entire peninsular. If you route them down PENLINK, they miss a full half of their route. So then we need more express services to service west of PENLINK. So we either split the express services east and west of PENLINK and double the cost or we drop each service frequency by half.

          • Bruce

            Guess you haven’t caught one of those buses as if you did you would know they are mostly full before they can service the rest of the Peninsular!
            Besides they just go along WhangaP road where there is actually a reasonable frequency during peak (which is when the express operate) and frequency is increasing along with the increasing population and use. So no those express services don’t need to use the old route. Also they would provide usage for buses on the counter-flow (from HBC station back out along the Peninsular – as some people would jump on that and transfer to the Penlink bus).

          • Bryce P

            So you’re saying the commuters to the east of PENLINK deserve express buses but those to the west can suck eggs and use the local buses?

          • Bruce

            Yeah actually because they won’t have far to go before they are on the NEX which is an express service.

  • Alex F

    If the Whangaparaoa Peninsula residents want this Penlink road, they should help subsidised it with a toll

    Is the Penlink likely to be administered as a state highway or a local road?

    • Bruce

      It has been planned as being a toll-road. Yet one more tick for it. People aren’t demanding a road be built for them for free. They want it yes but they are happy to have it as a toll-road.

      • Greg N

        Except the proposed toll will never pay the costs of building the bridge off and is barely enough to maintain it properly.

        And thats before the PPP gets their hands on the lions share of the toll revenue, making the actual toll used for debt retirement even less of a true “user pays” option.

        I don’t disagree with it being built if the users are paying a true toll, but to give it a peppercorn toll rate is not the case.

        I’ll also be interested in what the toll for the AWHC will be as well – if the same it (like this) will never, ever pay its way.

        • Bruce

          verses all the other roads that are built that have free access? At least the so called “pepper-corn” toll is making a big difference to the costs of it.

  • Stefan

    Personally, I think it is good, and good that has been developed as an expressway rather than a slow arterial road. One of the problems on the rest of the North Shore is it is slow using the arterial roads. Albany Highway should have been an expressway and then moving up and down the western side of the north shore would have been very efficient, and would have taken traffic off State Highway 1, you could go have gone straight up to Albany from Upper Harbour Highway without needing to go via State Highway 1. I know that this is a very anti-road group but there are people, like me, who do believe that they have value as the most efficient form of getting us from place to place. My friends who live in Whangaparoa live there because they want decent sized sections for the kids, they don’t want tiny little sections like the planners want people to have, there are people who don’t want a “compact city” because it would not be a nice place to live. I think it’s really only peak hour where public transport has particularly large amount of value for most of us, but I do support things like the busway, but the busway would be much more useful if there were far more park-and-rides. The ideal would be to create more work opportunities at Albany, then Penlink would allow people to get to Albany substantially more quickly, in addition to allowing people to get to the city more quickly in nonpeak hours.

    • Rich

      I think you’re referring to the Western Ring Route which uses the Upper Harbour Highway, not Albany highway to join back up to SH1. It will be upgraded to a full motorway so that traffic will flow as best it can without traffic lights. In reality I think this will mean bypassing traffic from SH1 will flood the western motorway. Albany Hwy has several schools and should be a safe complete street with slow moving traffic.

      A far better solution would be to scrap Penlink and use the money to extend the busway further north, or bring light rail to the shore.

      • Stefan

        Rich, No I am referring to the Albany Highway which also goes north parallelish to State Highway 1. But because most of it is 50 km an hour it is extraordinarily slow (confusingly, the southern part below upper harbour highway is 70 km an hour, and unfortunately many people drive at 50 km an hour causing some very risky overtaking by people frustrated by drivers who missed the signs) . Which means traffic needing to go to Albany finds it more efficient to go all the way through to SH1, which really doesn’t need any more traffic.

        • By my count there are three schools and a university on Albany Highway. Not to mention many hundreds of houses and at least a dozen side roads. Why on earth would anyone want the speed limit raised above 50km/h? Wherever you’re driving to, it will still be there when you get there; and you won’t have to endanger anyone’s life by driving at an anti-social speed.

          • Stefan

            It’s a poor design in the first place, before those things were built. I agree nothing is likely to be done now, but it should have been built and designed as an expressway. Would have created substantially improved transport around the shore. My point is on penlink it is good that it is being built as an expressway, too many opportunities around Auckland to create efficient transport have been missed already.

          • I might be wrong, but I thing that road was already there when Albany was still nothing more than paddocks.

  • I personally don’t want Penlink – the traffic out of the peninsula is nothing compared to the rest of Auckland – so how can anyone justify spending millions just to save 10 minutes – BIG WHOOP. Personally things like the hold ups at Greville Rd and Oteha Valley on the motorway are more important. A motorway should actually move instead of being at a stop most mornings – at least the Whangaparaoa traffic is always moving and I have no problems with things staying just the way they are. I also guarantee this will entice more development of the peninsula and that will bring a whole load of new moans and groans from residents – what about the businesses of Silverdale that will now be bypassed by peninsula traffic if this is to go ahead. I think it is a project that will benefit the few when there are far more pressing traffic issues to be addressed first. (And yes I live in Whangaparaoa)

    • Stefan

      Jude, you are SOO right about Greville Rd. Even in non-peak hours it can take a long time to get either onto the motorway or past that on-ramp going south. North seems to be okay since they added the third lane. What I don’t understand about how they plan motorways in Auckland is how there is so little spare land around the motorway for future expansion, which is one of the reasons I suspect the extended bus lane has taken so long to come to fruition. They need at least one more lane going south from Greville Road (which should be started straight away), plus a two lane busway in a very small space, and long-term I imagine they will need four lanes each way on the motorway.

    • Bruce

      Sounds like you either don’t actually know the area or use it off-peak.
      More often than not the traffic doesn’t flow and is stop-start until you get to the motorway.
      10 minutes isn’t much if that was your total trip time. However someone living in say Manly or anywhere past the Plaza is looking at a 30 minute drive just to get to the motorway (on a typical day) then another 15 minutes to Oteha… so basically 45 minutes before even reaching the edge of the Auckland Urban area… Then another 45-60 minutes to Takapuna/Northcote/City… so nearly 2 hours in other words…. I don’t know any other part of Auckland where a 2 hour commute is the norm??
      That is not to say that people should be doing this of course… the NEX is great and a lot faster than cars along with the other benefits of not having the city clogged with cars etc. 10 minutes however is a decent saving both in time, k’s on cars/buses etc and on fuel consumption.

  • Tony

    All I can think is ‘I’m glad i don’t live in Stillwater anymore’.

    • Bryce P

      Those Weiti developers will be gleefully rubbing their hands together. As soon as penlink gets announced, they’ll have just made some serious coin on the land. For no extra investment from them.

      • Tony

        Wont they just. But they seem to be giving landbankers a free kick nearly everywhere.

        Stillwater is quite a different kettle of fish to the Weiti development though. They’re slapping a ruddy great 4 lane bridge right in their face.

        • Bruce

          Yes they should be made to pay the full cost of access ramps to the road and AC should be charging them a decent development contribution.

          • Tony

            Really? Did you pay full cost of motorway access and/or roading cost when you moved to the peninsular? What about development levies? Lots of old houses out there built when no such thing existed…

  • Gabe

    Since Whangaparoa is constrained in terms of housing capacity it might make more sense if this were literally a Whangaparoa to SH1 shunt (i.e. no on/offramps) as there wouldn’t be any demand to induce (PT usage is low there anyway but obviously mode share will improve with upgrades to the NEX – maybe more ferries too?). As it is, it will just prompt more development in the area between, which will be pretty desirable – I always hear people talking about how great it is to be close to the motorway – and increase traffic.

    How could the people who did those projections look at the figures and think that it was in any way acceptable to travel for an hour to go 4km as the crow flies, albeit not for 30 years? I’d think that, if nothing else, that would be a sign that some ‘outside-the-box’ (not that we don’t already know that PT and/or capping development in transport-unfriendly places should help out) thinking is needed here.

  • Harriet

    I think the key word is opportunity cost here, we could for 380 mil

    A) Penlink

    Or

    B) Elect to Puke with two new stations and a just under50% down payment on NW Busway.

    • Agreed here, these are two much more beneficial transport projects yet they all seem to be pushed back to 2nd or 3rd decade for funding.

      However the NW busway still doesnt seem to have a proper plan, the only plans I have seen involve removal of 100’s of houses bordering the NW motorway unless they put it above or under the ground. Furthermore they all only show Te Atatu to Westgate as busway, City to Te Atatu as only priority lanes, which would require re-merging at Rosebank/Patiki mwy interchanges unless they plan to build bypasses for both directions. Its essentially become very difficult and potentially more expensive thanks to NZTA not including it as part of the WRR upgrade.

      • Stefan

        Peter, Cost wise I imagine the only way could be done would be to remove those houses. That highlights one of the issues I have with the way motorways are run in Auckland. I’m guessing most of those houses weren’t built when the motorway was built. If that is the case the allocated motorway space was not nearly wide enough for future expansion. I can see this becoming an issue north of Albany where they seem to be building things way to close to the motorway to allow for 4 lanes of traffic each way plus a bus/rail lane (buildings already too close to allow necessary future expansion IMHO south of Albany and on upper harbour highway). Land is much cheaper before it is built on, seems crazy to me not to protect these areas for any future potential use. Bit late now for the north-western unfortunately, but we don’t seem to be learning from our mistakes

  • Bruce

    Timing couldn’t be better…. Traffic today is backed bumper to bumper all the way from Silverdale right back to ALBANY!!! Once off the motorway and through Silverdale it is actually Freeflowing no issues. This is the problem: one incident/issue and traffic around the whole HBC is f**ked.

    • Bruce this is the problem across that whole city: overreliance on the one system, driving, as it is the only one, until very recently, that we have invested in at all.

      The great news is that a full RTN, a complement to the widespread road networks, is within reach if only we focussed on joining those dots next, rather than doubling down on the one we already have.

      The bad news is our politicians and institutions are stuck in a path dependency that sees them addicted to committing us all to ever traffic for the decades ahead instead.

      • Bruce

        Except there are no planned RTN for Rodney except for possibly extending the NEX at some point in the future (and in reality this will just be using the shoulders for a long time).

        and Bryce – both of the other 2 routes were jammed up also (meaning those people along those routes that aren’t even going to the Peninsular are held up too). In yesterdays example it was a bus broken down in Silverdale. With Penlink this would not have even been the slightest of issues. Accidents etc happen in Silverdale regularly (along with accidents in Red Beach, and along the Peninsular). Sure accidents can happen anywhere and cause holdups but there are usually viable alternatives and/or the impact isn’t as big.

        • Tony

          Bruce, dont want to be too picky here but, Hibiscus coast is no longer part of Rodney. It’s part of Albany.
          AC states ‘Auckland has 13 wards and 21 local boards. The Albany ward has two local boards, Hibiscus and Bays and Upper Harbour and two subdivisions – Hibiscus Coast and East Coast Bays.’
          It has nothing to do with Rodney anymore.

        • Bryce P

          So there was a breakdown? Happens on the southern and NW as well. Shit happens. No reason to spend nearly $400M.

          • Bruce

            and as mentioned when it happens on those roads it doesn’t usually have that much of an impact. Compare that to any of the main roads in and around HBC and any type of incident causes huge issues as there often isn’t any alternative or a limited alternative.

          • Bryce P

            And? Part of moving to a peninsula is this understanding. Hence I paid a premium to live in Orewa when real estate agents were talking up affordability on the peninsula.

    • Bryce P

      So you could have taken one of the other 2 roads that run parallel to the motorway.

  • Luke C

    I wonder if AT could model
    a) revert to 2 lane road with lower geometry standards
    b) increase the toll to somewhere more like $5
    If this halved the cost and doubled the revenue tolls could cover most of the cost, meaning this project would make sense.
    High tolls seem appropriate given the high local benefit, but very poor regional benefits.

  • We have needed Penlink for years and even more so now that Auckland Transport finally came clean 3 years ago and advised that Whangaparaoa Road was passed its ‘used by date’ in 2003. The population on the peninsula alone is nearing 40,000

  • Nicholas O'Kane

    Anyone know what the plan is for “Weti Station” or “Weti Forest Park”. They are marked as “planned growth areas” on the maps, but have heard nothing about them

  • Darrell Beard

    The best way for the government to spend money is putting in a really good rail link on the busway and increase the size of the carparks at the stations, of course they need to extend it over the new harbour crossing, BUT also we need businesses to put satellite offices in and around Silverdale area, so decreasing the traffic joining the tail. the other thing that can change the flow of traffic is for companies to allow flexitime, so there is staggered start and finish times, rather than everyone heading to work at the same time as school children, as we all know it the schools which cause the main issue with traffic.

  • Another dodgy thing about this road is that it is a 4 lane expressway ending on a 2-lane suburban street. Aren’t we just going to get a queue to enter Whangaparoa Road?

    It seems so unreal, out of proportion. Reminds me of when I was in Italy and a local explains how they ended up with some super-oversized guard rails on some streets.

    • Bruce

      Whangaparaoa Road is a 4 lane main arterial road. The sections that aren’t 4 lanes are being widened to 4 lanes soon anyway (and parts of it are supposed to become T2/bus lanes).

      • But still, especially given that there is a T2 lane during peak hour, that’s a lot of cars entering that road over there. An expressway lane has a lot more capacity than an arterial lane.

        And the same problem on the other end. From what I see further south, it’s not like there is still spare capacity on SH1. Given that, and the rush to get that extra bridge built, it seems the plan is to widen the motorway between Takapuna and Albany with another couple of lanes each way.

        • Stefan

          Yes, Widening SH1 by two lanes each way is what they need to do, but it doesn’t seem to be on the plan at all. The plan thus far for the new State Highway 18 interchange shows only one extra lane coming out of Greville Road onto the new interchange, thus will still really only be two lanes in that section, but the extra exit lane MAY help with the ridiculous congestion there already. They will also build the busway at the same time and therefore I suspect they will have no possibility of extending the southbound lanes to 4, which is what they really should be.

          • Bryce P

            Widen SB to 4? So you get to the congestion at Constellation Drive onramp 5 seconds faster? Widening there fixes nothing.

          • Stefan

            In my experience, which is mostly non-peak hours there is massive congestion whenever the mall is open getting on at or going past Greville Road. Creating one extra lane exit northbound has improved congestion. In my opinion the rest of the motorway should also be four lanes and then you would see traffic flowing most of the time pretty well. Peak hours are always a different story and that’s where the public transport system works.

          • Bryce P

            The added northbound lane is mostly used by commuters accessing the Rosedale business area. And even then it is often backed up in the morning.

      • Bryce P

        Whangaparaoa Rd isn’t being 4 landed. Penlink removes this project hence it was dropped.. Unless you can show me in the LTP where the budget line is.

      • Tony

        Hang on Bruce, this thing comes out across from the old placemakers site. That’s 2 lanes in each direction for quite some distance.

  • Karl

    The PENLINK is a complete waste of money. It serves such a few number of people relative to the greater Auckland population. It should be scrapped. While we are at it, we should also scrap the Westpac Rescue helicopter and the St John ambulances – after all, there’s only a handful of people who need them, most of us aren’t even hurt?

    The people on the Hibiscus Coast should move – they chose to live there. Isn’t its reasonable for the council to allow so much development and intensification in the area over decades without any investment in infrastructure? Sure its crippled the area, dampened house values and lowered the standard of living for anyone commuting into the city, but it doesn’t effect anyone else? Surely the easy answer is for them to say goodbye to their aging parents, let their friends and family know they will see them around some time, and pull their children out of school – they will all adapt over time won’t they?

    I say, lets celebrate that we have managed to cash in by over developing the area without having to spend a dime on relieving the issues its caused. Lets tell them that we now think there is little room for anymore development so we can’t justify spending any money on them. And best of all, lets continue to take their taxes so we can use their money to develop the rest of Auckland.

    I’m knackered, time to go home… should I take my 10-min commute or take the train? I know, I’ll walk.

    • Roberto

      absolute ignorance Karl. Well done in your narrow mindset LOL – the fact remains we have traffic congestion that has grown as poplation ha grown and AT and Government EED TO FOCUS ON THESE projects – with house prices going MAD what does one expect – the immigrants have caused unaffordibility close to city and why so many kiwi’s have moved out to HBC – times up for government and local councils to take responsibility – i say build the PENLINK and bulild whaever else is needed because Auckland will continue to grow and bring copious amounts of money to the region as more people move in so my point is – a growing city will require more infastructure – we need more bypasses links and expressways – simple !!!!

      As far as PENLINK only servicing 40,000 residents – THAT WILL CHANGE over time as urban expansion takes hold – we have to live somewhere right? and affordability comes into it so lets face it Whangaparoa is much cheaper than central suburbs of Auckland so prices are influcencing decisions to buy on the HBC and the government and AT need to respond to this

      fairway bay is getting carved up by chinese developers whi have also expressed interest in building the Penlink Not to mention it will take pressure off parts of Silverdale onramp and the Whangaparoa road which is past its use by date for repair – time to act and spend some money – toll the penlink is only way to go so lets get on with it !!

  • As I recall, in a late-1960s/early-1970s report on Robbie’s Rapid Rail, the travel time from Whangaparaoa station to the CBD loop was twenty-something minutes.

    Also, as I recall, the time from Albany station (at Oteha Valley Road) to the CBD loop was about ten minutes, and Albany to Newmarket was about twelve minutes – not even enough time to read the paper or check email.

    If only Muldoon hadn’t blocked it – imagine the time-saving benefits Auckland could have enjoyed for decades by now (as I recall, the Albany-Whangaparaoa section was scheduled to open in the early-mid-1980s), and onwards into the future …

    And if the present “experts” are expecting it to take over an hour – even with Penlink – to get not even to/from Whangaparaoa Town Centre to the Oheha Valley Road interchange on the motorway, then how many people who have to commute to the city would live on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and sit in traffic like a “muppet” (thanks to Patrick for the correct technical term) for 2+ hours, each way (1+ hour to Oteha Valley Road, and if that’s true, surely 1++ hour from Oteha Valley Road to the city)?

    I predict that in the future people will choose not to be muppets.

  • Nao

    Hello. This is Nao, year 13 in Rangitoto College. For my NCEA Level 3 internal for Geography, I was wondering is anyone can help me to complete the surveys that I have made on the issue of Penlink development.

    I am really sorry if this comment disturbs anyone, if it does, I will delete this comment. They are all multi-choice questions and it will take less than a minute to finish.

    This is the link to the survey.
    http://goo.gl/forms/EJ38cwU9p0

    Thank you so much for your time reading this and hope you will have a great day 🙂

    Nao

    • Nick R

      Your link doesn’t work Nao:

      “You need permission
      This form can only be viewed by users in the owner’s organisation.
      Try contacting the owner of the form if you think that this is a mistake. Learn more.”

  • Nao

    I am so sorry and thank you Nick R for telling me this.
    I have changed my setting so that anyone can do the survey.
    I think this solved the problem.
    Sorry for those people who have tried to fill the survey for me.

    If there is any problem with the survey, please let me know.
    Thank you.

    Here is a link to the survey if the previous one does not work.
    http://goo.gl/forms/cuFtJZcJoM

    • Nao

      Hello.
      I wanted to say thank you so much to those people who completed my surveys.
      Thank you so much for your time and your help. I really appreciate it.
      Please inform other people about the survey, that will be really helpful.
      Here is the link to the survey http://goo.gl/forms/cuFtJZcJoM

      Thank you.
      Nao

      • Nao

        Hello.

        I wanted to say thank you so much to those people who have completed my survey and to the people in this blog.
        I also wanted to announce that I have gotten enough completed surveys which I was told to gather which means that I am going to stop taking completed surveys soon.

        Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it and now I am sure that I will be able to pass this internal.

        Thank you and I hope you will have a great day.

        Nao

  • Roberto

    Latest updates
    16 March 2016
    Auckland Transport confirmed the designation of Penlink in January 2016 but received two appeals. An Environment Court hearing is likely to be held mid-year 2016 if required, However, all Penlink resource consents are now approved.

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