Main North Road bus priority

A decision has been made on this proposal

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 24 October 2017 to 17 November 2017

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Project update August 2019

When we last provided an update in May, we were expecting construction for this project to begin in July 2019.

Since then, NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) constraints have resulted in uncertainty around the funding of this project. We are working with NZTA to confirm if and when the funding will be made available for the project.

We were hoping to confirm the funding before providing an update, however this hasn't been possible, and we are conscious you will have been expecting construction to start. We hope this has not caused any inconvenience.

Work will not be starting before 2020. We will be in touch again when we have a confirmed construction timeline.

Any questions? 

Please contact Council Project Manager Luke Thomas on (03) 941 5371 or at

Project update May 2019 

Construction is planned to last four months from July - November 2019. Detailed design is now complete, and we expect to appoint a contractor in June.

Improvements include:

  • A full time bus lane running north from Winston Avenue to Grassmere Street.
  • A signalised intersection at Grassmere Street.
  • Walking and biking improvements.
  • Layout change to the Northlands Shopping Centre car park entrance.
  • More trees on Main North Road.

At its meeting on 4 October 2018 the Council decided to approve the Papanui-Innes Community Board's recommendation to approve the Main North Road bus priority scheme , with the following two amendments:

  1. The Board recommends that Council approve that the full time northbound bus lane begins on the northeastern side of Winston Avenue, retaining the existing northbound car parking from Harewood Road to Winston Avenue.
  2. The Board requests that staff install an additional P5 car park on the north side of Winston Avenue at the Main North Road end.

Approved Plans Sheet 1 [PDF, 403 KB] Sheet 2 [PDF, 341 KB]

Consultation is now closed, and the project team has analysed all responses for a report to the Papanui-Innes Community Board for a recommendation to Council for approval.

197 individuals and groups gave their feedback. You can read their submissions [PDF, 358 KB] and a summary of the key issues and project team response [PDF, 56 KB]

You can also read a more detailed consultation summary [PDF, 26 KB]

Final proposal Section1 [PDF, 462 KB]  Section2 [PDF, 377 KB]  Section3 [PDF, 284 KB]

The Proposal

What we are proposing

Bus stop improvements outside Mobil Garage. A longer bus stop and shelter

1. Bus improvements - helping the buses run on time

  • A full time bus lane running north from Harewood Road to Grassmere Street.
  • At the Main North Road/Sawyers Arms Road intersection bus improvements will get buses through the intersection from the kerbside lane to access the bus lane north of the intersection.
  • Extension to the operating times of the part-time bus lane to the city between Mary Street and Horner Street so it operates in the afternoon as well. The new times will be 7am – 9am and 2pm – 6pm.
  • The full time bus lane running to the city from Halliwell Avenue to Mary Street will remain.

2. Bus stop improvements

  • On the north side a new larger bus shelter will be located outside the Mobil service station.
  • On the city bound side, a new double length bus stop will replace the single stop near Age Concern, heading towards the city.

3. Walking and biking improvementsA new pedestrian crossing over Main North Road outside Westpac.

  •  A new signal-controlled pedestrian crossing will be added on Main North Road on the Westpac side of the intersection with Langdons Road and Mary Street.
  • The crossing distance at Winston Avenue will be reduced for people walking.
  • The bus lanes are for cyclists to use as well as the buses.
  • Six new street trees will be planted outside Northlands Shopping Centre and some landscaping improvements are to be installed at the Mary Street corner. There will also be a new tree, cycle parking and seating on Winston Avenue at the intersection of Main North Road.

4. Changes to car parksCar parks to be removed to allow for new full time bus lane running north.

  • To be able to fit the bus lanes and bus stops in, a reduction in car parking is needed. There is available parking behind the businesses on Main North Road for customers to use, and we will be improving signage to direct drivers to this off-street parking.

Heading north

  • Nine car park spaces will be removed to allow for the bus lane running north between Harewood Road and Winston Avenue. There will be new short term parking (P5) installed on Winston Avenue
  • Seven car parks will be removed to allow for the extended bus lane and bus stops between Winston Avenue and Langdons Road.

Heading towards the city

  • Six car park spaces will be removed between Loftus Street and Horner Street to allow for the extended bus stop

5. Improving traffic flow and safetyView along Main North Road showing the existing and proposed bus lane

To help improve general traffic flow and safety on Main North Road we are proposing the following changes:

Langdons Road

  • To help traffic exiting Langdons Road, a new left turn lane is proposed from Langdons Road onto Main North Road.

Grassmere Street

Changes to Grassmere Street’s intersection with Main North Road are required and there are two options proposed:

Option A: 

To provide the desirable bus journey time improvements, it is proposed to install a traffic island which will prevent right turns into or out of Grassmere Street but will allow drivers to turn left into and left out of onto Main North Road.

Option B: 

Install new traffic lights on Grassmere Street which will allow drivers to turn right out and left in and out of Grassmere Street. The compromise with this option is that drivers cannot turn right into Grassmere Street from Main North Road, there is not enough road space. They will need to do this from Papanui Road and Main North Road instead.

Option A key features

Option A

Option A

  • Bus journey times in either direction are unaffected.
  • Vehicle journey times on Main North Road in either direction are unaffected.
  • Drivers wanting to turn right out of Grassmere Street will be unable to do so and will need to use Mary Street instead.
  • Drivers wanting to turn right into Grassmere Street will be unable to do so and will need to use other street entrances such as from Papanui Road and Main North Road to access Grassmere Street.
  • No changes to parking in this section.
  • Lower cost option.

Option B key features:

Option B

Option B

  • Traffic lights will allow for drivers to turn right out of Grassmere Street. This will hold Main North Road traffic. Buses will share the general traffic lane.
  • To help keep traffic and buses moving, a left turn lane into Grassmere Street will be needed so that left-turning vehicles do not block the through lane. To allow for this left-turn lane, south-side parking would be reduced from seven to two spaces.
  • Grassmere Street traffic can turn right on a short green signal, so they can get out safely, while limiting disruption to traffic flow on Main North Road.
  • Drivers wanting to turn right into Grassmere Street will be unable to do so as there is not enough room for a right-turn bay. They will need to use other street entrances such as from Papanui Road and Main North Road to access Grassmere Street.
  • Higher cost option.

Project location

Project location

Come and talk to us

  • Friday 27th October, 2:30pm to 6:30pm - Northlands Shopping Centre (near Bed Bath and Table next to Tank) 
  • Tuesday 7th November,  4:30pm to 6:30pm - Public Information Event at the Papanui-Innes Community Board Room, entrance off Restell Street.

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Who to contact

How the decision is made

  • Decision made

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