It has now been over a month since Auckland Transport (AT) implemented its T2/Bus lane experiment down Pakuranga Road, and it is clear it has failed in its objective to ease traffic congestion in the area, says Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga.
“AT said the main purpose of the T2/Bus lane was to counter expected increases in traffic congestion as a result of the Eastern Busway construction, but it is clear the lane has not made a difference,” he said.
“Since this lane was installed, I have had numerous people contact me saying their commute is now taking 40 minutes from Howick to Panmure, with traffic backed all the way up to Howick Intermediate. These are the people who drive on Pakuranga Road every day, and it’s safe to say they know far better how it operates than bureaucrats who rarely travel the area.”
“I have also heard from many who have told me of the confusion caused between Cascades Road and Gossamer Drive where the left turn-only lane is now a T2 lane. There have been near misses and confusion caused at the intersection of Pakuranga Road and Gossamer Drive where people turning into Gossamer can only do so in the final 50m.”
Forty minutes from one end of Pakuranga Road to the other was not good enough, he said.
“Today I am launching a petition which calls on Auckland Transport to end this experiment and return the third lane on Pakuranga Road between Highland Park and Gossamer Drive to the 90 percent of people who will actually use it.”
“It has fast become another example of a council failing to listen to the warnings and concerns of local residents, who tried to tell AT that this wouldn’t help. AT completely ignored the issues raised by the community and dismissed their suggestions as to how such a lane could be improved.”
AT responded: “We appreciate that Simeon Brown MP has received anecdotal feedback and there may always be situations where journey times are longer than our data suggests due to a variety of factors. We need to assess the transport network using real-time traffic monitoring data alongside teams assessing traffic on the ground. Data and roadside monitoring shows that there has been a minimal impact on general traffic since the T2 lane was installed. We have also seen faster journey times for buses and increased bus patronage along this section of Pakuranga road. AT has not received any reports about confusion, accidents or ‘near misses’ at these intersections. We have had teams monitoring the T2 lane at these intersections and they have not reported any safety issues. We will continue to monitor the area from a safety perspective and will review our directional signs. “
The petition is at simeonbrown.national.org.nz.