Auckland Matters is the AA’s newsletter on Auckland transport infrastructure issues. The aim of the newsletter is to raise awareness, encourage debate, and push for policy approaches that we believe will help to deliver the best transport outcomes for Auckland.
Each edition will focus on a different transport theme, providing insights into the opinions of our Auckland Membership and a set of recommendations for local and central government officials.
Issue 13: August 2022
Congestion Charging Part III: Knocking at the door
Issue 13 of Auckland Matters revisits congestion charging. The Government has committed to making a decision on whether to introduce legislation allowing congestion charging in our cities by the end of this year. This issue of Auckland Matters provides an insight into the public perception of congestion charging and sets out what we consider would need to be addressed in legislation.
Issue 12: September 2021
What our members are telling us
Issue 12 of Auckland Matters provides a picture of the transport views of the AA’s 335,000 Auckland members based on 10 surveys we have conducted over the last three years.
The findings show that members are desperate for a transport system that will get them where they need to go quickly, easily and safely. They’re frustrated that the system is failing to deliver in this regard – congestion is increasingly widespread both across the network and outside the traditional peak times. Meanwhile, public transport and cycling are not realistic alternatives for the majority of trips people make. There is a clear need to rebalance transport plans and programmes based on a realistic assessment of each mode’s potential contribution to meeting current and projected future needs.
Issue 11: October 2020
Congestion Charging Part II
The next government needs to push ahead with the debate on congestion charging in Auckland, but no one should be fooled about how challenging it will be.
AA Members remain dubious about congestion charging – for many it’s unfair, unaffordable and impractical. The public discussion needs to demonstrate that any scheme will provide sufficient benefits (in terms of travel time savings and re-investment in infrastructure) and do enough to mitigate negative social impacts.
Issue 10: June 2019
Issue 10 of Auckland Matters enters the debate around Auckland’s rapid transit programme, and points to a clear message from Auckland AA Members: rapid transit has a critical role to play in Auckland’s transport network, and the Government must get on with delivering it.
The onus is now on decision-makers to come up with a solution that delivers meaningful transport benefits – in terms of de-congestion and high-quality services for public transport users – at the same time as being affordable. This will be no mean feat.
Issue 9: June 2019
Bus and transit lanes
Auckland Transport plans to deliver “whole-of-route” improvements to 200km of the city’s bus lanes in the coming years. Issue 9 of Auckland Matters highlights that this won’t be an easy sell with motorists, many of whom are far from convinced about the benefits that bus lanes deliver to the transport network.
To secure much-needed public support, AT will need to do a better job of making the case for bus lanes, clarify the rules that govern their use (so fewer people are fined for making honest mistakes), and find ways to minimise the impact as general traffic lanes are converted into T3 or bus-only lanes.
Auckland Member Speed Survey: Dec 2018
The questions and results of a survey sent to Auckland Members for their views on speed limit changes being proposed in the city.
Issue 8: August 2017
Park and Ride
Auckland is seriously under-supplied when it comes to park and ride bays across the city. On a population and ridership comparison, we're behind on a global scale - even when it comes to Wellington.
Issue 8 is the foundation of the AA's call for 10,000 more park and ride bays over the next decade. Our research confirms our Members like park and ride; it's a format they're familiar with and it gets them onto public transport in a way that's manageable. This edition of Auckland Matters also explores that Aucklanders are, by and large, happy to pay for park and ride, particularly if it guarantees them a park.
If officials want to see the tectonic shift towards Aucklanders using public transport over private vehicles, we need to see Auckland Transport identifying key locations and building more park and ride bays across the city.
Issue 7: August 2016
Issue 7 of Auckland Matters explores Auckland AA Members' views on congestion charging - that is, introducing tolls on roads to manage congestion - as the Government and Auckland Council consider whether it may make sense to adopt some form of congestion charging in Auckland in the future.
Members tell us they are ready to begin a serious conversation about congestion charging, but are not yet ready to sign up to it. They understand the principles behind it, but are sceptical about its benefits relative to costs and have deep-seated concerns about equity.
If officials hope for the public to join them on the journey towards congestion charging, they will need to take things slowly and keep the benefits to motorists front and centre.
Issue 6: May 2016
Auckland AA Members are deeply concerned about congestion - it's affecting their quality of life and causing many to look at moving house, changing jobs or leaving the city altogether.
Those are some of the findings of our latest survey of Auckland AA Members. In Issue 6 of Auckland Matters, we're calling for transport officials to take action.
Our message isn't that we should strive to eradicate congestion, but rather to do everything reasonable to contain it and to minimise its impacts.
Issue 5: January 2016
Red light cameras
This issue of Auckland Matters takes a look at red light running and what can be done to address it.
Red light running is a major road safety concern for Auckland motorists, and they’re crying out for more to be done.
Ninety percent of Auckland AA Members want to see more red light cameras installed – even those who themselves admit to having run red lights support more cameras. We’re calling for at least ten new cameras to be installed a high-risk intersections in Auckland and another ten nationwide.
And red light cameras can’t solve the problem alone – we also want to see more done to improve intersection layout and traffic light phasing.
Our message to officials is simple: take action, and the public will be right behind you.
Issue 4: July 2015
Alignment on Auckland Transport
This issue of Auckland Matters highlights the need for closer alignment between local and central government on Auckland’s transport programme. It sets out what the alignment could look like, drawing on conversations with a wide range of stakeholders.
The transport programme in Auckland has suffered as a result of the divide between the Government and Auckland Council, and public confidence in transport decision-making has taken a hit.
What’s required is for the Council and Government to go back to the start, get over the political and ideological differences, and find a way to make the relationship work.
While that process is playing out, there are a number of initiatives that can start immediately – like pushing ahead with smaller projects that get more out of the existing network, and being clearer with Aucklanders about the costs and benefits of different projects – that will help to recover trust with Aucklanders.
Issue 3: March 2015
Auckland's Transport Strategy
Issue 3 of Auckland Matters provides an insight into the views of our Auckland Members on the two transport budget options that Auckland Council put forward as part of its Long Term Plan 2015-2025.
When asked to choose, Auckland AA Members prefer the more expensive option (the Auckland Plan Network) to the basic option. However, support is far from overwhelming, and falls away when people think about what they’ll actually have to pay. If our Auckland Members are going to pay more, they’ll need far more confidence in the quality of the transport plan (congestion benefits, in particular), and the financial management and accountability around it.
We’re recommending that Council take an alternative approach, based on working much more closely with Central Government, and doing a better job of engaging with the public and. This is crucial to delivering the network improvements that Aucklanders need, and deserve.
Issue 2: October 2014
In Issue 2 of Auckland Matters, we focus on road pricing, which is set to come to the centre of the transport infrastructure debate as Auckland Council considers alternative funding options within the Long-Term Plan.
When asked to choose between road pricing (in the form of a motorway toll) and increased rates and fuel taxes, Auckland AA Members prefer a motorway toll. But this preference is overshadowed by ongoing anxiety about taking on extra costs.
At present, the public awareness vacuum around transport infrastructure issues is being filled by a conversation about costs. If officials are going to build support for any road pricing scheme, they are going to have to start talking to the public about benefits, and they are going to have to start immediately.
Issue 1: May 2014
A snapshot of the view of our Auckland Members
Issue 1 of Auckland Matters provides a snapshot of the views of our Auckland Members on general transport issues in Auckland.
The key finding is that Auckland AA Members strongly support infrastructure development across all transport modes, but once the dollar impacts get personal, support falters and the focus goes on trimming costs.
We’re calling on officials to package and explain the full programme – warts and all – in a way that secures lasting public buy-in. Failure to do so could significantly undermine the delivery of the programme.