Site of new bus station in limbo, despite public support
The exact location of a new bus station on Auckland's North Shore will finally be decided in 2017.
First mooted in 2015, the bus station is part of a project to improve the Northern Busway and has received "overwhelming" public support.
But, after two years of investigation by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport (AT), a precise site for the new station has still not been chosen.
The Northern Corridor Improvements project will see the Northern Busway extended from Constellation Bus Station in Mairangi Bay all the way through to Albany Bus Station.
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Original project plans proposed the new station at Rosedale, as part of the wide-ranging works.
However, the new bus station has been left out of plans that were lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in November.
NZTA's Auckland highway manager Brett Gliddon says the bus station is still being "actively investigated" and a final decision on the location will be made next year.
"The area between Albany and the Constellation bus stations is home to a growing industrial employment area, which currently has limited public transport options and street parking which is at capacity," Gliddon says. "A station in this area would provide a destination station."
Gliddon says the agency has consulted on the concept of a new bus station both in 2015 and 2016, and each time the "overwhelming majority" of respondents liked the idea.
Of the 411 written feedback forms NZTA received at the last consultation round in 2016, 398 supported the station.
Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Lisa Whyte says she is a "strong supporter" of the new station.
"Currently it is too far to walk from either Albany or Constellation and there aren't feeder buses providing regular service," Whyte says.
"Better linkages by bus all around the catchment can only be a positive change."
Whyte says the proximity to Rangitoto College and the Millenium Institute is an important factor.
"This is the largest high school in Australasia and traffic movements have a significant impact on all surrounding roads. The Millennium Institute is the national centre of excellence and the training and competition venue for many thousands of people all around the North Shore each week. So providing a more feasible public transport access option is essential, as numbers using it increases."
A funding request from AT, specifying the recommended site, will go to NZTA in the first half of 2017 and public consultation will also take place.