To help make it safer and easier for people on buses to travel between Sandhurst Drive and Golf Road, we have implemented an interim bus lane along Links Avenue which we’ll trial during the construction period of the Baylink/SH2 upgrade project. The need for the bus lane will be re-assessed following the completion of the SH upgrade works. As part of this work a new shared bike path and an upgrade of the Concord/Links Avenue intersection will also be undertaken.
Shared pedestrian and cycle path
A number of safety concerns have been expressed by parents of the local schools since the bus lanes became operational on Links Avenue in early 2019. Council staff have spent a considerable amount of time observing driver, cyclist, and pedestrian behaviour in the area. The following recommendations have been made and have been completed:
- A new pedestrian crossing outside Mount Intermediate School.
- A new 2.5-metre-wide shared pedestrian/cycle path between Ascot Road and Mount Intermediate School.
These measures will address the issues raised in the early stages of this significant transformational transportation project. Other elements of this wider Arataki project are to be delivered throughout 2020, all of which are designed to improve road safety and encourage more people to walk, bus and cycle to school or work, or just for pleasure.
Progress regarding further options
After receiving a presentation from passionate community members at the Projects, Services and Operations Committee on 15 September 2020, a staff report was requested regarding options for Links Ave to be presented at the next Council committee.
On 6 October 2020 a report was presented to Council as requested, on more than 10 options for changes to Links Ave including their advantages, disadvantages and estimated costs so the Mayor and Councillors could recommend a shortlist of options to be considered further.
The Mayor and Councillors passed the resolution: Council will continue to engage and work through the series of physical, behavioural and vehicle use options with residents, schools and Regional Council to improve safety on Links Avenue with a view to reporting back to Council before implementation.
Since this meeting, we have established the Arataki Community Liaison Group and will be engaging with the Group and the community on these options so we can bring your feedback to the Councillors, this will help inform them of what the community want. We have also been having discussions with Bay of Plenty Regional Council who are currently developing options for changes to the bus services to reduce the number of buses that travel along this road.