Auckland Transport will be asked to investigate a call for a busway down the middle of the Northwestern Motorway.
That follows a presentation to the Auckland Council transport committee yesterday by Labour list MP and Te Atatu candidate Phil Twyford, who says the northwest is cut off from the rest of the region "to an almost ridiculous degree".
Mr Twyford, who said the proposal originated with the Campaign for Better Transport and had support from western business groups as well as three local boards, won a committee resolution for officers to seek a report from the council-controlled Auckland Transport.
He said the $350 million proposal would complement the western railway line, which went nowhere near Te Atatu and the high-growth northern sector of the former Waitakere City. He preferred it to run down the middle of the motorway and said it would cut the typical bus trips from Westgate to central Auckland from about 60 minutes to about 18 minutes.
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Modelled on the successful Northern Busway and the removal of 8000 cars each morning from harbour bridge traffic, it would have six bus stations, including one at Pt Chevalier with a possible connection to the airport via the future Waterview motorway tunnels.
Mr Twyford, in a submission to the Auckland Unleashed discussion paper, has also proposed a $50 million "green bridge" across the Whau River to carry buses, pedestrians and cyclists to a bus station on Rosebank Peninsula from Great North Rd at Glendene.
Councillor Sandra Coney said the busway proposal was "obviously logical" but questioned his timing, given that resource consents had been approved for widening the Northwestern Motorway under the Transport Agency's $2 billion Waterview Connection project.
The MP said it was frustrating that the agency's plan to widen the motorway causeway from Waterview to Te Atatu had not been future-proofed for a busway, and acknowledged not yet having approached that organisation about his proposal.