What the new plans for Auckland’s transport system mean for the city’s housing
Rush hour in Auckland … and nobody’s rushing anywhere. Gridlock and long public transport commute times are the bane of life for Aucklanders. That’s why the government and the council are investing $28 billion on Auckland’s transport over the next decade, as part of the revised Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).
The money will be spent on improving roads and public transport so people, cars and freight can move more freely. The plan also targets Auckland’s housing challenges, by aligning with land-use plans to encourage growth around areas close to rapid transport corridors.
For those looking for a family home, or an investment property, ATAP offers many opportunities. New housing developments will be unlocked, as new infrastructure promotes greenfield growth. And demand will rise for those existing suburbs benefiting from ATAP’s projects and reduced commute times.
City dwellers are promised new cycle paths, bus lanes and the City Rail Link, which joins western suburbs, such as Mt Albert and New Lynn, with a direct link to the heart of the city, and new stations at K Road and Aotea Square. But the main benefits will be felt further afield. From the Hibiscus Coast in the north to Pukekohe in the south, Kumeu in the west and Botany in the East, ATAP looks set to change the map of our biggest city’s housing market, for the benefit of all Aucklanders.
Here are the biggest projects likely to affect the housing market:
• Connecting the Whangaparaoa Peninsula with SH1, Penlink will slash 30 minutes off commute times to the city, and will promote new housing developments around Silverdale and Dairy flats, with the building of a projected 6,000 new homes.
• The Northern Busway extension from Constellation Bus Station through to Albany will support growth in Albany and further north to the Hibiscus Coast. New bus shoulder lanes between Albany and Silverdale will promote greenfield development in Silverdale West and Wainui East.
• The proposed light rail out to the airport will open up the corridor to significant growth potentional, especially around Mangere and Onehunga.
• An upgrade to Puhinui Road (SH20B) will provide greater access to the airport from the south. The addition of a new lane in each direction will be integrated with a Puhinui bus/rail interchange, which will further boost airport access by rail.
• It’s projected that over 11,300 new dwellings will be built in Auckland’s south. Much of the development is set for the greenfield growth area between Papakura and Drury, which will receive a boost by the widening of that section of the Southern Motorway. Meanwhile, an upgrade of the Redoubt Road/Mill Road corridor will improve transport access to the major developments taking place in Flat Bush further east, and benefit Papakura, Takanini and Clevedon.
• The electrification of the line between Papakura and Pukekohe will offer a faster and more direct link to the city, and comes with the promise of three new stations along the track.
• It’s been a long time in the planning, but when it’s complete the Eastern Busway, from Panmure to Botany, will cut travel times from Botany to the city, by bus and train, to just 40 minutes. This will certainly drive property growth along the corridor, in Pakuranga, Panmure and Botany.
• A new rapid transit corridor from the airport to Botany, via Manukau, will provide an essential link south and to the rail network at Puhinui, driving demand for housing along the route.
• The northwest area out towards Kumeu is set for major growth. Auckland Transport predicts that over the next 30 years, the areas around Whenuapai and Red Hills Road, near Westgate, will be home to 75,000 more people, living in 14,000 new homes. That’s why it’s pushing the Northwest rapid transit corridor. The Minister of Transport has announced a new light rail that will mean journey times of 30 minutes from Westgate to the city, while fast bus links will connect Westgate to Albany, north of the city.