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Submission on AT's proposed NX2 bus route and layovers proposal, June 2018

Tuesday 3 Jul 2018

Our submission on AT's proposed NX2 bus route and layovers proposal sought feedback on the duration of the proposed interim bus configuration and outlined specific concerns about the implications of the proposed changes on loading and servicing for businesses in Wellesley Street East as well as the most appropriate locations for bus layovers.

AT has responded to our question regarding the duration of the interim route, saying:

The interim route refers only to the portion where NX2 travels from Wellesley Street West to Wakefield Street via Queen Street. The permanent route is to have NX2 to continue straight pass Queen Street and turn right at Mayoral Drive, before turning left again onto Wakefield Street. This will require the intersection of Wellesley Street East and Mayoral Drive to be upgraded, but we do not have the resource to deliver this work by the September, hence the need for an interim solution. We anticipate the interim route to be in place at least until the end of October and will have an update closer to that time. The remainder of the route will be permanent from September.

The specific concerns outlined in our submission with respect to the area on Wellesley Street West between Albert Street and Elliott Street are as follows:

  1. The removal of the loading zone. There is no indication that the loading zone that is proposed to be removed to make way for a bus stop will be replaced in any near location. There are extreme pressures for loading and servicing for businesses (and identified by a recent survey that was undertaken by Auckland Transport - reference our news story on this survey here) and the ongoing removal of loading zones will exacerbate this problem. Within the Wellesley Street area, loading is restricted after 11am in the Darby and Elliott Street area, and loading zones that currently exist in Federal Street west will likely be removed in the future with the planned shared space. The City Rail Link project has also put significant pressure around loading and servicing and future works in the Wellesley Street and Victoria Street area will further this.
  2. We have been liaising with the parking team in Auckland Transport about the need for an overarching loading and servicing strategy for the city centre – as we can’t continue to look at the areas of the city centre in isolation in terms of their provision for loading and servicing our growing business community.
  3. We ask that Auckland Transport identify a suitable location for an additional loading zone in the area, and liaise with businesses on this. We don’t consider it acceptable to just ‘remove and not replace’. This is a busy area that also services two hotels/backpackers so there is likely to be a demand for people dropping off gear as well as for general loading and business servicing.
  4. We would like further clarification on the requirement for a bus layover in this part of Wellesley Street - given the proximity to small retailers and high pedestrian volumes it would be our preference to see necessary bus layovers in locations where there are ‘inactive’ street frontages where all possible. We would like clarification on how long buses are likely to remain in ‘layover’ mode whilst at this proposed location.

AT NX2 consultation documents