We are making significant investments into infrastructure and community assets across the North Shore and Auckland. This is despite the continued Covid-related impacts on our budget, workforce recruitment and supply chain issues. Rates make up around 38% of Auckland Council revenue; we thank you for that significant contribution to the improvements to our community.
Bus infrastructure improvements.
Last month we celebrated the completion the busway extension from Constellation Station to Albany and the complete upgrade and expansion of the Constellation Station including a new platform and overbridge. Partner this with the platform extensions at the Smales Farm station and you get significant service improvements that speed up the whole busway from the city centre to Albany and provide for easier and safer journeys. Auckland Transport is also improving and installing many new shelters around our neighbourhoods.
The Lower Albert bus terminal which serves many Shore bus services will be completed over the next few months with new seating, large weatherproof shelters, CCTV and digital timetables to improve the experience for your trip home.
With 50% off fares until at least the end of August, this is a great time to try out new routes or services or spend the whole day travelling around by public transport for a maximum of $10 with your AT Hop card.
Our programme of water quality upgrades have been making a real difference for our beaches and waterways and will continue to do so in the future. Identifying and fixing issues in the Takapuna, Milford and Castor Bay catchments has reduced contamination in these areas.
We have just kicked off a $5m renewal of the wastewater pipes and manholes along Takapuna Beach which will be completed before summer. Similar is happening in Shakespeare Road to reduce overflows into the Wairau Estuary. This builds on the improvements that allowed us to remove the permanent no swim warning that has been in place for decades.
Te Ara Awataha (the Northcote Greenway) and the Greenslade Dry Pond are large works under way, which will prevent flooding in the area, improve stormwater filtration and provide good quality green spaces for locals. This complements other stormwater upgrades in Hillcrest, Birkenhead and Birkdale.
Footpath and road renewals.
You may have noticed many upgrades to footpaths and roads across the Shore. This is done via a list of priority projects but also in response to requests. I receive many requests for footpath improvements and Auckland Transport has been very receptive to prioritising and upgrading the worst examples first and stretching the budget to do more. Please feel free to send more my way.
Misinformation on cycling infrastructure.
No, we have not funded a $2 billion cycling plan. The Auckland Transport budget allocated to the cycling business case projects is $306 million over ten years. This is less than 1% of the $32 billion transport budget. It was consulted on in 2021 as part of the RLTP and supported by ALL councillors and local boards.
I am sure many Aucklanders who cycle or wish it was safer to cycle would like to see more spent, but this is simply the Auckland Transport list of projects that would get us to 7% of total trips being on bikes. Any major change to Auckland Transport’s $306m cycling budget will be consulted on in the next Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) in 2024.