What does the interim report cover?
The interim report is the second of three reports that make up the Auckland Transport Alignment Project. Officials from central and local government have jointly prepared the report.
The report sets out:
- preliminary findings and conclusions from the work undertaken to date
- an emerging strategic approach to developing Auckland’s transport system
- the focus for the next stage of work.
What does the interim report find?
The interim report finds that:
- A greater focus on influencing transport demand patterns has benefits – technology and variable network pricing (directly charging for road use and varying charges by location and time of day) will have a significant positive impact on system performance. However further work will be required.
- Short-term funding plans are mostly committed to or pending for major projects. This means there is limited additional discretionary money available in the next decade under current budget assumptions.
- Changing the “investment mix” (i.e the amount of different types of transport projects or services) will not achieve a step-change in network performance over and above the current Auckland Plan Transport Network, but local improvements in access to employment and reduced congestion are possible.
- A variety of specific transport challenges need to be addressed including how to: support and enable growth in new areas, address capacity constraints on key corridors into the central area due to growth in public transport ridership, and better establish the relative costs, benefits and interaction of major infrastructure proposals.
What is the emerging strategic approach to developing Auckland’s transport system?
The emerging strategic approach set out in the interim report includes:
- Ensuring transport enables and supports growth – new growth areas in the north-west, north and south will need substantial and early investment in infrastructure that enables land to be developed and route protection. Investment will also be needed in existing urban areas where 60-70% of growth is targeted.
- Targeting investment to strengthen the strategic road, rail and public transport system to address growth in demand and provide sufficient resilience.
- Making better use of the existing transport system - including difficult trade-offs on arterial roads.
- A strong focus on capturing the benefits of technology including early investment in intelligent transport systems to position Auckland for future benefits from connected and shared vehicles.
- A progressive move to variable network pricing, which would mean a change in the way we pay for transport, with road users paying different amounts according to when and where they travel on the Auckland transport system.
- Ensuring the planning and funding arrangements supports the strategic approach.
What happens next?
Feedback from the project sponsors and further analysis will inform the final project report in August. The project sponsors are the Minister of Finance, Hon Bill English, the Minister of Transport, Hon Simon Bridges, the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown and Auckland Councillor Bill Cashmore.
This next phase of the project will ensure that the recommended strategic approach is evidence-based, and demonstrate its costs and benefits.
The final report will recommend an aligned strategic approach for the development of Auckland’s transport system. It will also include recommendations on how to implement the aligned strategic approach, including further work and any changes to key transport planning and funding documents.
We expect to complete the final report in August 2016.
How can I get more details?
The initial report is available on the Ministry of Transport’s website. The Ministry’s website also has wider information about the project including the Terms of Reference agreed between the Government and Auckland Council and the Foundation Report published in February 2016. We will publish further information from the project on the Ministry of Transport’s website as it becomes available.
What opportunities are there for public input?
The ATAP Project team has met with a number of key stakeholders, to seek feedback as appropriate. Further engagement will continue as the project progresses.
Wider public consultation is likely to happen in the work that follows ATAP to implement the agreed strategic approach. This will include consideration of changes to statutory and strategic documents, such as the 2018 Government Policy Statement, the Auckland Plan and Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan, which are subject to public consultation.