Toll Cycle / Pedestrian Pathway Plan For Harbour Bridge


An innovative proposal is being presented to the transport agency for a shared pathway on the city-side clip-on of the Bridge so pedestrians and cyclists can cross the bridge.

The proposed Pathway would be attached under the deck cantilever of the eastern clipon.bridgepic

The GetAcross plan would see this funded by tolling walkers and cyclists $1 each way, along with a small initial investment from the National Cycleway fund. There would be no cost to the Transport Agency to construct or operate it.

This proposal has been developed with assistance from Holmes Consulting Group,NextBike, Y&R, BetterWorld, Walk Auckland and Cycle Action Auckland.

It now requires NZTA to provide by December 18 an expression of support for this pathway to be part of the National Cycleway, and ongoing support for the development of this proposal. The hope is that this pathway will be operational by the time the RWC is held in October 2011.

Among the advantages put forward:

  • it can serve as a combined pedestrian and cyclist facility, creating significant cost savings in place of the previous option of two separate pathways
  • it can be built wide enough (3.2 to 4 metres) to designate separate spaces for both cyclists and pedestrians, thus enhancing safety for all users
  • it does not require heavy (concrete) barriers to provide physical separation from vehicle traffic
  • it does not require narrowing of the traffic lanes and the associated costs of deck strengthening for new wheel tracks
  • it can be designed to not add wind resistance to the existing structure
  • it uses the eastern clip-on, which has ample load capacity and allows city views while not obstructing motorists’ views of the harbour
  • it is sheltered from traffic emissions and weather yet still allows views of the harbour
  • it will utilise the components specifically added by NZTA as part of the current clip-on strengthening and future proofing works
  • it can be designed to be an aesthetically pleasing tourist attraction for the Auckland region
  • the gradient of the Pathway is 5 to 6% (3 degrees), which is deemed easy by the National Cycleway guidelines
  • clearance for ships navigating under the Bridge is unaffected
  • the Pathway’s connections to the streets north and south are straight forward and cost efficient
  • The Pathway provides access for maintenance

It’s envisaged that the net revenue generated by a toll, along with an initial investment from the National Cycleway fund if necessary, could provide sufficient funding for the Pathway to be built, maintained and operated for 25 years before being transferred to NZTA ownership at no cost.

Projects FAQ: underneath

Will the majority of the toll be consumed by collection costs?

No, only about 9% of the toll is used to pay for its collection, the rest of the toll goes to debt repayment, maintenance, security, insurance, operations and administration. The tolling system is based on public transport fare collection technology that provides patrons with a wide range of payment options whilst minimizing the transaction cost.

Why should walkers and cyclists pay when motorists don’t?

Ideally there would be no toll for walking and cycling access, but the reality is that the Pathway is highly unlikely to happen within the next 25 years without a toll. Motorists paid a toll to use the Auckland Harbour Bridge for 25 years, from 1959 until 1984 .

What about the clip-on’s ability to carry the loading?

The eastern (south-bound) clip-on has ample capacity, as detailed by Beca’s September 2009 analysis. The tolling system’s control gates can be used to monitor the number of people using the Bridge to ensure extreme live loads cannot occur.

Has this option for a Pathway under the deck been considered previously?

Yes, this option was explored by Beca in their Feasibility Report  and in the Maunsell access study, but was disregarded early as .Security was found to be a defining issue.  However, by tolling the Pathway, a high level of security is funded to ensure user safety, and the toll itself has some security benefits (reducing the likelihood of loitering).

Is it a priority for the region?

Yes, the walk/cycle way not only fixes most the most significant gap in Auckland’s walking and cycling network, it is a cornerstone project for improving walking and cycling in the Auckland region - similar to Britomart Station being the cornerstone project for the revival of Auckland.s once dreadful rail passenger service.  Currently Auckland has the reputation of being one of the worst cities in the world for walking (pg 28, ARTA.s Sustainable Transport Plan 2006-16) and only 1% of Aucklanders regard cycling as always safe. (ARC’s Community Perceptions Report 2007).

Do Aucklanders want it?

Yes, in November 2007 Y&R commissioned market research to gauge the level of support amongst Aucklanders for the walkway and cycleway. Very strong support was revealed, with 76% in support, 12% against and 12% unsure. See the survey results at:

Aren’t the clip-ons too unstable for a walkway and cycleway?

The clip-ons are currently undergoing major strengthening, which includes the addition of 700 tonnes of steel at an estimated cost of $45 million. This strengthening will reduce movement, making the walk/cycleway safe and comfortable.

Isn’t it too steep to walk or cycle over the Auckland Harbour Bridge?

The gradient of the Bridge is 3 degrees (5%). This is considered a gentle grade and rated easy by the National Cycleway guidelines.

Will the Pathway affect the flow of traffic across the Bridge?

No, the shared Pathway is under the traffic deck and does not affect the configuration of traffic lanes in any way.

Why not wait until the next harbour crossing, or use racks on the front of buses to carry bikes?

The Transport Agency’s Waitematā Next Harbour Crossing Study 2008 determined the next harbour crossing shall be a tunnel for vehicles, with walking and cycling access to be provided on the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge. However, waiting for the harbour road tunnel to be built means waiting 25 years or more for walking and cycling access across the harbour. 7,500 Marathon runners run over the Auckland Harbour Bridge in November each year Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway Proposal for Tolling: 26 November, 2009 Page: 12 of 16

Putting bikes on buses to cross the Bridge is not a satisfactory option, as cyclists enjoy cycling for fitness and convenience, and don’t want the delays and financial cost of taking a bus. A bus fitted with a rack can carry a maximum of 3 bicycles at time, thus it is not appropriate for the estimated demand of 600 to 1,500 cyclists per day. Cyclists currently use ferries to cross the harbour; however the demand is now exceeding capacity at peak times, hence Fullers Ferries support walking and cycling access on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

What about the “ANZAC” Bridge?

The ANZAC Bridge has been suggested to replace the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge and do away with the need for a tunnel. It would run through the Wynyard Quarter development across the harbour to the Onewa Rd/SH1 interchange. Whilst it has some merit, it will not proceed, as its impact on the Wynyard Quarter waterfront is too severe. Furthermore, the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge has a long economic life expectancy, and the demand for future roading capacity across the Waitematā Harbour can be met with the proposed commuter rail tunnel and the transfer of road freight to coastal shipping and rail freight services.

This band video was launched today to promote the idea:




  1. George Darroch says:

    I think tolling could work with an operator at either end. I’m still skeptical about security otherwise. $1 won’t stop someone who wants to cause trouble or steal from people.

  2. Jeremy Harris says:

    They could use the integrated ticketing card when it’s introduced…

  3. Cam says:

    Would need to be well lit with CC TV.

  4. James says:

    would only need collection at one end right?

  5. Jeremy Harris says:

    That song was terrible, it made me want to put sharp things in my ears…

  6. Jon C says:

    The proposal envisages security can be provided through the use of CCTVs, Intercom, Westhaven Marina security staff, and police from the Traffic Control station on Northcote Point (where the Bridge CCTVís and Intercoms are monitored) and emergency access points to the Pathway could provided to the road deck above if deemed necessary.

  7. [...] Toll Cycle / Pedestrian Pathway Plan For Harbour Bridge [...]


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