Auckland businesses say massive disruption to the transport network yesterday as a result of an accident on the Harbour Bridge illustrates why Auckland must not entertain the idea of reallocating a lane of the Harbour Bridge to walking and cycling.
A multi-vehicle crash before 9.00am closed the Northbound clip-on, and resulted in major congestion across the city, which continued well into the afternoon.
Auckland Business Forum Chair Simon Bridges says the crash and its aftermath highlight the resilience issues facing the Bridge.
“When there’s an accident, the Bridge struggles to function, even at a fairly quiet time of the week – and the traffic impacts are felt right across the city.”
In this situation, Mr Bridges says, the role of the remaining lanes on the Bridge is crucial.
“Imagine if we’d had one less lane to draw on yesterday, because it had been repurposed for walking and cycling – an awful traffic situation would have been diabolical. Even worse, imagine if it’d happened during rush-hour in the middle of the working week, rather than early Sunday morning.”
Mr Bridges says a recent announcement by Waka Kotahi ruling out a trial lane reallocation was heartening, though certain political elements were still pushing for it to happen.
“This is one of the most important transport links in the whole country, and we mustn’t tinker with it. Further reducing the resilience and reliability of the Bridge can only mean bad news for Auckland’s productivity and liveability. We all want to see walking and cycling options across the Harbour, but this is not the answer.”
Mr Bridges says that the situation also highlights the need to move ahead much more quickly on plans for a new Waitemata Harbour crossing – one that caters to all modes of transport.
“We’ve been going in circles on this for decades. It’s time to put a really compelling option in front of Aucklanders and then get on and build it.”
The Auckland Business Forum is a group of Auckland-based business organisations formed to advocate for greater urgency around the planning and delivery of the Auckland transport programme. The group was formed out of concern for a long-running decline in the standard of Auckland’s transport infrastructure, and the subsequent impact on productivity and quality of life. The Auckland Business Forum’s membership incorporates broad-based user and industry perspectives on transport issues, and consists of:
- Auckland Business Chamber
- Civil Contractors New Zealand
- Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern)
- National Road Carriers Association
- New Zealand Automobile Association (Auckland District)
- Ports of Auckland Ltd
For more information, contact:
Chair, Auckland Business Forum
M. 021 322769