What CAA submitted I… [LTP and RLTP]

Submission on the draft Long Term Plan 2012-2022 of Auckland Council and the draft Regional Land Transport Programme 2012-2015 of Auckland Transport


  1. Cycle Action Auckland would like to submit on the draft LTP and draft RLTP documents, as well as some of the Local Board Agreements and the Alternative Funding for Transport discussion.


Long Term Plan comments (LTP)


  1. We generally agree with the transport-related key issues spelled out in the LTP. We particularly support increased future CAPEX spending on public transport, to the proposed rate of 48% of the 10 year transport budget.


  1. However, the plan is severely deficient in not showing leadership in walking and cycling (active modes). There, the plan envisages a highly disappointing “business as usual” approach. We therefore ask for the following:

    1. The LTP is intended to put the Auckland Plan vision into action, but does not even mention the Regional Cycle Network by name, even though it is featured prominently in the draft Auckland Plan. The Regional Cycle Network needs to be featured as a key 10 year project.


    1. The Long Term plan proposes a mere 0.8% of the transport capital expenditure to be spent on walking AND cycling – taking the disappointing Ministry of Transport’s GPS co-funding rate “as read”.


      1. Auckland Council and Auckland Transport should prioritise aliveable city, in which short trips (6km or less) are encouraged to be by active modes. This will also boost public transport, as PT users generally walk or cycle to stations.


      1. Even a (in overall LTP budget terms) very modest increase in funding (from rates, above the 0.8% cap on NZTA co-funding) will allow numerous walking and projects to be implemented which currently languish in the planning stage and are unlikely to be proceed, despite proven BCRs.


    1. Arguing that some cycling facilities are incorporated in projects like the Dominion Road upgrade ignores the fact that such an approach often leaves a (for cyclists) disjointed, broken, network. There is simply not enough funding to fill the gaps left by the “incidental” cycle projects.


  1. As the key request of our submission, the walking / cycling activity class should receive 5% of the transport rates (5% of the non-NZTA subsidy budget).


  1. We note that the LTP provides, in Volume 2, Page 85 forward, a number of transport performance indicators.


    1. We are disappointed that there are almost no indicators for cycling, beyond a simplified indicator for cyclists travelling into the city centre. This in turn does not even have a target, beyond a “increase on baseline”. Why is cycling treated differently than other modes?


    1. We suggest setting a target of a 10% increase per year, noting the many coming city centre cycle projects, and the low baseline numbers.


    1. Further, despite indicators for the satisfaction of Aucklanders with the quality of roads and footpaths, there is no such indicator for satisfaction with our cycleways. Please include such an indicator – we suggest setting this target for satisfaction with the city’s cycle facilities at 30% for the first 3 years, 40% for the next 3 years, and 50% for years 7-10.


  1. We discuss specific transport projects separately, to the end of this document.



Regional Land Transport Programme comments (RLTP)


  1. We note that the RLTP in terms of prioritising projects is guided by four priority focus areas. All these have clear links to cycling, as set out below:


Priority Focus Area

Cycling Relevance

Support the integration between land use and transport

Cycling is key to integrating transport and land use, allowing short-distance trips to be undertaken without excessive infrastructure demands, and allowing public transport to work to it’s best efficiency (multi-modal trips)

Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the region’s transport networks

With Auckland’s transport system so focused on the car for historical reasons, we have reached a period of diminishing returns – more cycling investment will play to underused strengths, and balance the weaknesses of a car-centric system

Maintain and make best use of the existing transport system

Our existing transport system could become much more cycle friendly, even where no large-scale cycleway projects are proposed – for example with localised (but coherent) programmes to remove pinch points

Improve transport safety and reduce the adverse impacts from transport on the surrounding environment

Cyclists are over-represented in crash statistics, even though NZTA acknowledges that in almost ¾ of all crashes, they are not at fault. Cycling (and walking) also have the least adverse impacts of any transport mode.


  1. With this perfect “strategic fit”, we consider the RLTP should not again propose “business as usual” with dedicated walking and cycle funding remaining at 0.8%, and with no dedicated cycle projects (such as the Regional Cycle Network) in the “key priorities” (Page 4) or “major projects” (Page 28) – despite other project bundles (like “other arterial road upgrades”) being noted there.


  1. As noted earlier, arguing that some cycling facilities are incorporated in projects like the Dominion Road upgrade ignores the fact that such an approach often leaves a (for cyclists) disjointed, broken, network. There is simply not enough funding to fill the gaps left by the “incidental” cycle projects.


  1. We ask that cycle funding be increased above the currently proposed “lock-step” with the Ministry of Transport’s 0.8% walking and cycling CAPEX funding target. The RLTP should show more leadership, especially considering the low costs and great benefits of doing so.


  1. This is because even very modest (in terms of the overall budget) increases in cycle funding would allow many more projects to proceed which currently “languish on the books”, despite good BCRs.


  1. As the key request of our submission, the walking / cycling activity class should receive 5% of the transport rates (5% of the non-NZTA subsidy budget).


  1. Beyond this overarching request, we are concerned that the projects discussed for walking and cycling in the “expository” sections of the RLTP (including the list on Page 25, which we generally support) do not correspond with any funding set out in the document, beyond an extremely simplistic $5-7.5 million range per annum “Footpath and cycleway development and construction” line item (Page 47) and an associated list of HNO projects (NZTA projects) that – beyond the extension of the Northwestern Cycleway down Grafton Gully – again does not seem to correspond with the project list.


  1. We consider that to be able to plan progress on the Regional Cycle Network, and for this to be consulted on properly, more information is required. This lack of information either points to a lack of clear planning, or to a need for more input and influence into the RLTP by the walking and cycling-related teams at Auckland Transport.


Local Board Agreement comments (as part of LTP)


  1. As an Auckland-wide group, we provide comment on a number of Local Board Agreements. We attach these as a separate document to the online form.


Alternative Funding for Transport comments (separate Council discussion)


  1. We support efforts to assess (and advocate to national government for) better funding mechanisms for Auckland’s transport projects, particularly the more costly public transport projects that the current government is reluctant to support despite their significant advantages for Auckland.


  1. We consider that the more “user-pays” centric methods (such as network and congestion charging, fuel taxes or car park levies) are the most suitable funding methods, as they both provide transport funding as well as encourage more sustainable transport behaviour.


  1. Betterment levies may be suitable for some projects, but it may be difficult to levy them in a form that is equitable, due to the fact that owners and even commercial developers may not be able to realise the benefits directly, and because the levy could even act as a disincentive in the shorter term.


Project-specific comments (as part of LTP and RLTP)


  1. We also make a number of comments on specific projects. These generally apply to both LTP and RLTP, as set out in our online submission form.


  1. We support the following cycling-specific projects, or ask for them to be included in the budget / implementation programmes.


    1. Beach Road – these cycle facilities, as a link from the existing Waterfront / Tamaki Drive cycle facilities to the coming extension of the Northwestern Cycleway by NZTA, should both progress with priority.


    1. City Centre Masterplan – providing for better walking and cycle facilities should be key in the initial transport improvements in the City Centre.


    1. New Zealand Cycle Trail – the planned “Airport to City Centre” and Waiheke routes should progress to actual implementation.


    1. Public Bike Hire Scheme – we note the absence of any public bike hire scheme. Rather than a “large-scale-high cost” project as per Paris or London, it should be noted that a smaller scheme, able to be progressively extended, would have a much more moderate cost.


    1. Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway – more specific targets should be identified on the way to provide a walk- and cycleway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. While the project is mentioned in the overview list on page 25, it is unclear how this translates to any funding or actions.


    1. Tamaki Drive safety improvements – We strongly support the planned safety improvements for this corridor, which Cycle Action helped plan.


    1. Pinch Point Priority Programme – as currently discussed with Auckland Transport, Cycle Action advocates for a pilot project in which a variety of short-term, “quick-win” improvements can be made to selected existing arterials to improve their safety for cycling.


  1. We support a variety of roading projects with significant cycle facilities:


    1. Albany Highway – We consider that the design of this project so far promises some of the best integration of cycling in a “standard” arterial.


    1. Tiverton-Wolverton – We consider this a key improvement in the cycling links from the centre of the Isthmus to the west / New Lynn area.


    1. AMETI Projects – Panmure-Pakuranga (and in the longer term, the bus / cycleway to Botany) – these designs include very high-class cycling facilities. It is however noted that there is still a need to provide better connectivity as these planned cycle facilities still leave significant gaps – especially between Panmure and the future Panmure Bridge, and between Panmure and the planned Sylvia Park cycle facilities.


    1. Dominion Road – We understand that no on-road cycle facilities are now planned any more on Dominion Road itself, only wide bus lanes, and that alternative cycle routes on residential streets west and east of the route are planned instead. These routes are therefore supported, but need to be part of the Dominion Road project both financially and in terms of delivery timeframe, and need to to a high quality.



  1. We continue to strongly support rail projects, i.e. the City Rail Link, Airport Rail route protection, rail electrification, station upgrades and integrated ticketing.


    1. We have to slightly temper this otherwise enthusiastic support by noting that a mere fraction of the funds for these projects would multiply the walking and cycling projects actually implemented several-fold


    1. We also ask that cycling be considered as a key part of train station and rail electrification works. This relates to the following opportunities:


      1. providing bicycle parking, ideally weather-sheltered and secure
      2. providing access ramps allowing bicycles to be brought onto trains, or push ramps on stairs where this is not feasible
      3. ensuring that pedestrian footbridges or access ways which are rebuilt can also serve as local cycle network components, both to the station AND for the surrounding areas
      4. ensuring that road overbridges which are rebuilt for electrification provide better for cycling (with cycle lanes or paths)


    1. This will not only benefit cycling, but also increase public transport patronage by making it easier to access the stations, and by extending their catchment range several-fold.


  1. We support ferry terminal improvements, particularly those planned for the inner harbour, where demand is greatest.


    1. We ask that upgrades particularly consider access for cyclists to the terminal and onto ferries should they wish to bring their bicycle along
    2. We also ask for cycle parking, ideally weather-sheltered and secure


  1. We are concerned about an East Tamaki-Sylvia Park-Onehunga route upgrade (to motorway standards or similar) being introduced into the budgets and planning regimes without sufficient assessment (see page 23 of the RLTP, discussed extremely briefly as a SH20-SH1-East Tamaki Link). We consider that such a costly road freight project should take a back seat to improving rail freight from Ports of Auckland to the inland ports in South Auckland.


  1. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to submit on the draft Long Term Plan and draft Regional Land Transport Programme for Auckland Council.


  1. We would like to be heard in support of our submission, both at the Auckland Council and at the Auckland Transport hearings.


Contact Details

Barbara Cuthbert

Chair / Spokesperson

Cycle Action Auckland

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