It’s been two weeks since Auckland Transport (AT) launched its T2/Bus Lane along Pakuranga Road.
It is part of a wider traffic management plan to help ease congestion along Pakuranga Road during the two year construction period of the Eastern Busway.
An express bus service along Pakuranga Road has also been launched, as well as the introduction of a recommended speed during peak times of 50km/h, down from the usual 60km/h.
Soon to launch is a park and ride service from Lloyd Elsmore Park.
In the months leading up to the launch of the T2/Bus Lane, residents expressed scepticism about whether the bus lane would actually improve traffic conditions along Pakuranga Road.
Many feared it would instead impede traffic by reducing the three lane road to two, with very few motorists making use of the T2 Lane.
Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown has strenuously opposed the T2 Lane, most recently accusing AT of hoping to slow Pakuranga Road down by reducing the speed limit at peak times to 50km/h.
“While it may only be an advised speed at present, it makes clear AT’s desire to slow down Pakuranga Road, which is already suffering from long travel times due to traffic congestion in the area,” Brown says.
“They claim the purpose of the lower speed limit is to make it safer for traffic to move in and out of the T2 lane while it is in operation, but if they were truly concerned about this they would have taken the community’s suggestion on board to extend the 50m clearance and give motorists more space to switch lanes.”
However the first official data has been released on how the T2 lane affects the wider network of traffic and single occupant vehicles travelling along Pakuranga Road.
And according to the data, travel time remains almost the same as it did before for the majority of motorists.
An AT spokesperson says there is always a ‘bedding in period’ when transit lanes are introduced, early indications show that it is being utilised by multiple occupant vehicles with no evidence of delays to general traffic.
The AT data shows that before the T2 lane the average travel time between Botany Road /Pakuranga Road intersection and Ti Rakau Drive from Mondays to Fridays between 7am and 9am for all vehicles in May and June 2019 was 10.4 and 9.4 minutes respectively.
The data shows the average travel time for the same distance from Monday to Thursday in the first week of the T2 being operational between 7am and 9am for all vehicles is 10.1 minutes.
“This demonstrates that there has been some positive behavioural change by local communities, whether it be adopting public transport, changing travel routes or travelling outside of peak travel hours.”
The spokesperson says the advised speed of 50km/h has been introduced on all Panmure-bound lanes between Dunrobin Place and Gossamer Drive while the T2 lane is operational (6am – 10am, Mon – Fri) to encourage motorists to safely drive to the new road conditions and layout.
- Now the question is how are you finding the T2/Bus Lane? Let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you would like to sign up to receive a personalised travel plan, visit AT.govt.nz/travelplaneast. More than 500 people have signed up to this service from the wider Howick and Pakuranga area.