A half-billion dollar bundle of projects to fix Auckland's transport woes was welcomed last night but also described as a quick-fix.

Auckland Council has agreed to support the Accelerated Transport Programme (ATP) of high-priority projects.

The interim transport levy will help fund the projects.

The transport projects include 45km of new bus lanes, intersection upgrades, Te Atatu road corridor improvements, a walkway and cycleway funding boost and new "park and ride" facilities.


The council said its budget committee approved $523 million of additional spending over the next three years.

Funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency and council debt will also bankroll the projects.

Campaign for Better Transport convenor Cameron Pitches mostly welcomed the announcements but said that in the long-term, more solutions would be needed to clear the city's clogged transport arteries.

"I guess there's a strong public transport bias, you could say, in the projects that have been selected," Mr Pitches said. "They're all smaller projects that have potentially a very high benefit-cost ratio."

Mr Pitches said the announcements were a good response to Government claims the council was fixated on large projects.

He said it was clear most Aucklanders favour improved investment in public transport.

Mr Pitches said the 45km of new bus lanes should speed up bus travel.

"That's good because the majority of public transport in Auckland takes place on buses."


Mr Pitches said the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative was significant too. He said the initiative would better connect parts of East Auckland to nearby areas.

"In the long-term, funding's still going to be an issue but for the next couple of years at least, this will go a long way."

He said the City Rail Link remained a sticking point between Auckland Council and the Government.

Labour transport spokesman and Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford welcomed the projects but also said major long-term issues remained.

"It's a small down payment on what Auckland needs," he said last night.

He said the "real fix" for Auckland transport problems was a dedicated rapid-transit busway in West Auckland.

He said the North Shore's successful busway should be an example to others.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said although the Government and council had some disagreements, he was trying to find common ground.

"All of the projects look worthy and in due course the Government, through the NZTA, will come out with the National Road Transport Plan."

He said the plan, expected to be unveiled in July, would address some of the city's transport issues.

He said he would soon write to Auckland Mayor Len Brown to "start the process for getting better alignment".

Mr Brown said: "While we continue to work with the Government to secure an alternative funding system to deliver the Auckland Plan Transport Network and work towards an agreed and funded plan for Auckland's transport future, this interim solution will help us to keep moving."

The council is funding $308 million, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will chip in $185 million and the Urban Cycleway Fund will contribute around $30 million.

Approved Accelerated Transport Programme projects

• Transport interchanges at Otahuhu, Manukau, Te Atatu.

• Te Atatu road corridor improvements.

• Pukekohe interchange and park and ride facilities.

• New park and ride facilities at Papakura, Westgate and Silverdale.

• Tamaki Dr and Ngapipi intersection improvements.

• Increased budget for rural road seal extensions.

• Public transport safety improvements for rail crossings.

• 45km of additional bus lanes.

• Bringing forward investment in the Auckland Manukau Transport Initiative (Ameti) to 2015-18.

• Increasing walkway and cycleway funding across Auckland to $124 million, using additional central government funding.