Newmarket Viaduct Closure

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Newmarket ViaductJeremy Greenbrook-Held

For much of the weekend of 4-5 September, the south-bound lane of the Newmarket Viaduct will be closed so the final alterations can be made to bring the new viaduct online. The New Zealand Transport Agency is recommending that people either find other forms of transportation, or stay at home during the 36 hours that the switch is undertaken – particularly on Sunday.

The NZTA have recommended that all south-bound (Airport and Manukau) traffic from West Auckland and the North Shore be diverted down the SH20 motorway. Given that the roads between the Great North Road offramp at Waterview and the start of the SH20 motorway at New Windsor are suburban roads, I shudder to think how far traffic will be backed up in both directions on the Northwestern Motorway. Anyone traveling across town for Father’s Day should expect a slow trip.

Interesting to see that NZTA has recommended people look at public transport options:

Auckland’s public transport system has been revitalised in recent years. Rail links between Auckland, Waitakere and Manukau, and bus and ferry options from the North Shore, will provide viable transport alternatives this weekend throughout the wider region. Visit www.maxx.co.nz to find out your best option.

Here’s an idea – why doesn’t the Auckland Regional Transport Authority use the weekend see how popular public transport options would be if they were free?

Imagine the savings that would be made across the region if Aucklanders were given free (or nominal cost – say $1) public transport on an on-going basis. Auckland’s roads would be freed up for those that actually need them, and increased patronage would led to more frequent and more reliable services.

I’ve started a Facebook campaign for free public transport for the weekend, and I’ve drafted a letter to ARTA asking them to explore the possibility.

Photo credit: Auckland Motorways.

Comments

  1. Avatar Greg Presland says:

    Good to see that NZTA has listened to you Jeremy.

    To quote:

    Train trips will be free throughout Auckland’s rail network during this weekend’s motorway closure on Newmarket Viaduct.

    The Auckland Regional Transport Authority – which already intended running extra trains during the closure of the viaduct’s southbound lanes for up to 36 hours from 5pm on Saturday – announced late yesterday that it would also underwrite free rail travel.

    “Aucklanders are concerned about getting around the city during this time – free train travel is a small way we can assist,” said customer services general manager Mark Lambert.

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