Kamo Road priority lane

Mockup of the Kamo Road priority lane.

We have received $1.65 million from Waka Kotahi through the Transport Choices Program, to create a priority transit lane on Kamo Rd to assist with commuter traffic coming into the city on weekday mornings.

The T2 priority transit lane will be for:

  • buses 
  • vehicles with two or more occupants 
  • emergency vehicles 
  • passenger service vehicles, e.g. taxis 
  • motorcycles 
  • bicycles 
  • mopeds.

The priority lane would be a southbound clearway, between 7:00am and 9:00am, Monday to Friday, when peak traffic is flowing.

Outside of the weekday clearway period, car parks along impacted parts of Kamo Road can be used as normal.

Northland Regional Council is aiming to increase the frequency of buses so that services will run every 15 minutes between 7:00am and 9:00am (subject to driver availability).

Very little needs to change along this route to make the clearway functional and only minor disruptions are expected. The works are primarily roadside signage and road markings, which can be scheduled outside of peak hours. 

Through construction, there will be traffic management in place and some areas where parking will be restricted to allow two-way traffic flow. 

What we are doing

From 4 October to 8 November 2023, a survey was available for people to give feedback on the project. 

There were also two drop-in sessions to share information about the project and to get feedback from the public. The drop-in sessions were an opportunity to meet with project managers, designers, and engineers who could answer any questions related to the project.

Our designers and engineers are now working to finalise the designs incorporating the concerns and requests from our public feedback. This includes specific provision for a signalised crossing adjacent to Countdown on Kamo Road, and carparks at the start of Aubrey Street and Mains Ave.

The project is being broken into two sections.

Section 1 - Rose Street Bus Hub north to Whau Valley School

This section is nearing design completion and will then be costed. The final scope of the project will be confirmed at this point, as the project cannot go over the allocated budget which is 100% government funded.

Section 2 - Whau Valley intersection north to Adams Place

Detailed traffic modelling is about to commence for the section north of the Whau Valley intersection, before any plans are finalised. This modelling, and any design changes arising should be completed by the end of June 2024. 

Once the design, modelling, costing and project scope are confirmed we will update the public with this information and the final designs. We aim to initiate construction in late 2024.

Project funding

The Kamo Road Priority Lane project will be 100% funded by central government as part of the Transport Choices Programme.

This project, which is part of our current Long Term Plan 2021 - 2031 and Transportation Network Strategy, has been brought forward due to the availability of central government funding.

What is involved?

  • Creating a clearway lane for buses and T2 (vehicles with at least two people).
  • Removing some median strips and right-hand turn bays.
  • Installing new signage.
  • Installing two new signalised pedestrian crossings.
  • Changing some road markings.
  • Painting some sections of the clearway green.
  • Changing some kerbing and footpaths.
  • Changes to some bus stop locations.

What is a priority lane?

A "Bus and T2 Priority Lane" is a specific road lane created by having a temporary clearway where there is usually parking. The priority lane is designated for buses and vehicles with two or more occupants. 

Buses can use this lane to move more quickly and efficiently, getting to the front of the queue at busy intersections faster, ensuring that public transportation is an attractive option for commuters. 

"T2" refers to the minimum number of occupants required in a vehicle to use this lane. "T" stands for “Transit” and "2" indicates that at least two people must be in the vehicle. 

Vehicles that can use a Bus and T2 Priority Lane include: 

  • buses 
  • vehicles with two or more occupants 
  • emergency vehicles 
  • passenger service vehicles, e.g. taxis 
  • motorcycles 
  • bicycles 
  • mopeds.

This lane will be marked with signage and road markings to indicate its purpose and restrictions. 

The goal of Bus and T2 Priority Lanes is to reduce traffic congestion and encourage more sustainable and shared modes of transportation. 

As our cities grow, we need to make sure our transport networks can grow and adapt with them. Using priority lanes and clearways enable roads to effectively cope with current traffic demands as well as prepare for the effects of future development. 

Proposed Kamo Road priority lane infographic showing the use of the transit lane by a bus during morning peak traffic.

Where will the priority lane be?

The priority lane would run from north of the Whau Valley Shops intersection to the Rose Street bus station. It will not be continuous, rather it will be located where there is currently queuing just north of busy intersections along Kamo Road.

T2 lane and Clearway signs.

The main purpose is to get buses to the front of the queue at intersections, enabling faster public transport into the city centre.

From north of the Kensington shops to the bottom of Bank Street the clearway will be continuous. The clearway will connect to the upgraded Rose Street Bus terminal.

Te Kamo has been chosen as the first location to trial a priority lane as it is one of the busiest main roads into the city centre and the majority of the road is already very wide. This means that very little infrastructure change is needed.

Why do we need priority lanes?

Priority lanes make it easier for people to take alternative forms of transport while lowering congestion and reducing emissions.

Good transport options are a vital part of a sustainable, attractive city and investing in public and active transport infrastructure is an investment in the future of Whangārei and the future of our planet.

As our District grows, we need to make sure our transport networks can grow and adapt too. Using priority lanes and clearways will enable the network to more effectively cope with the current traffic demands as well as prepare for future growth and development.

Location

Kamo Road, Te Kamo 0112  View Map

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