Auckland faces increasing traffic woes

  • 28/09/2015
Auckland faces increasing traffic woes

Aucklanders are being asked to leave their cars at home as a convergence of major construction in the heart of the city threatens to cause traffic woes.

In its September outlook, Auckland Transport is warning drivers planning on passing near Albert St to rethink their travel plans as construction on the City Rail Link begins later in the year.

The first phase of the project begins in November with parts of the major arterial route being dug up to install pipes and is expected to last nearly a year.

"If you're going into the city centre, we recommend you plan your journey using AT Metro buses, trains and ferries," AT warns, adding buses will be given priority on the route.

But other projects in the area are likely to add to the traffic headache.

SkyCity's controversial International Convention Centre is finally expected to begin construction somewhere before Christmas 2015 and will affect the same route through the city.

Meanwhile, development of a 30-storey office complex is also set to start on Albert St in November.

Two commercial builds at Wynyard Quarter starting at the same time won't help and the work will dovetail with construction on the Downtown Shopping Centre, above Britomart, and a new tower being built at the corner of Albert and Victoria streets in mid 2016.

But Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said despite all the work, car commuters were realistically only facing minor additional delays.

"We wouldn't want to get too into scare-mongering. We're talking about possible extra traffic delays of a couple of minutes and we have to meet certain criteria to make sure that's what's happening," he said.

"People may just have to change their mode or their route."

He said additional cycle lanes around the edge of the city were now also a new option and drivers were being asked to carpool where necessary.

Although the City Rail Link work was projected to last for eight years, only parts of it would be above ground and much of it wouldn't affect traffic, Mr Hannan said.