Rosebank Advocates May 2018, by Dr Grant Hewison

Submission to Proposed Regional Fuel Tax and Draft Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan 2018-28 

Auckland Transport has been seeking feedback on the Proposed Regional Fuel Tax and the Draft Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan 2018-28 (RLTP).

Together with other business associations across Auckland, the Rosebank Business Association made a ‘combined’ submission to the these proposals. In addition, the RBA made an individual submission on issues specific to its concerns.

Of critical importance to the RBA and its members is transport through the business precinct, with the efficiency and effectiveness of Rosebank and Patiki Roads (and their connections to SH16) being of paramount importance. Also of importance to the RBA is that the Precinct be well served by public transport.

Rosebank and Patiki Road Corridor Improvements 

Of considerable concern to the RBA is that the draft Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan 2018-28 states that the Rosebank Road upgrade (upgrading the existing Rosebank Road to improve vehicle and freight access to and from State Highway 16 costed at $36M is scheduled as unfunded in the RLTP. 

This is contrary to the emphasis in the RLTP on road corridor improvements to address congestion on the arterial network, especially congestion on the freight network. It is also contrary to the need for network capacity and performance improvements, so that better use is made of the existing transport system to increase the number of people who can travel through key routes and corridors. This must include the efficiency and coordination of traffic signals being improved to enhance throughput and reduce delays as well as the introduction of more dynamic traffic lanes to improve peak traffic flows, and give priority to freight movements on key freight connections.

In particular, the RBA wishes to see real improvements for Rosebank in terms of traffic management. One issue of importance is for Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to make a decision about road widening of Rosebank Road. The RBA has said it understands that the ordinance for this is in place. While this would require removal of the flush median, the RBA feels this option has come to the end of its useful life. At peak traffic times the pace of traffic is very slow. Even outside these hours, traffic travels are at around 40km/hr. The ability to exit driveways is now almost impossible without taking risks. The RBA said that this must be resolved. There may also be opportunities for safety signage to be displayed in the immediate term. The RBA has also asked for a genuine extra northern lane in Patiki road to be created to help alleviate the Rosebank roundabout congestion, which proceeds down to the motorway via the ramp metering process. The RBA also asks for urgent and serious consideration to be given to the introduction of a dynamic traffic lane on Patiki Road to improve peak traffic flows.

Public Transport – Light Rail on Northwest Corridors 

On the issue of public transport, the RBA has supported and promoted the new 138 AT bus-link from New Lynn via Rosebank to Henderson and its return. The RBA says it would like to work with Auckland Transport to ensure public transport to and through Rosebank is efficient and effective.

Also on public transport, the RBA notes that the introduction of a new bus network for West Auckland. There are over 8,000 FTEs working in Rosebank and the second largest secondary school in NZ, Avondale College, is close by. The new bus network must link with the Avondale Train network.

However, of most significance is the proposal for Light Rail along SH16. The RLTP notes that Light Rail is proposed to the north-west to support substantial growth along the corridor and in the broader North West, to address the projected decline in employment access, to provide a travel alternative to congestion on State Highway 16, and to improve public transport mode share.

The RLTP also notes that rapid transit along the Northwest corridors will require significant investment, but also provides a substantial opportunity to explore third party funding and financing arrangements. An allocation of $1.8 billion is proposed as part of ATAP which will be used to leverage funding and financing to progress both corridors over the period of this RLTP.

One concern the RBA says it has is that there is no marked Light Rail station at Rosebank, despite the need to address the projected decline in employment access. The RBA has asked that the proposal for Light Rail along SH16