Meghan and Harry

26 October 2018 Kate Palmer

A new tool developed to help commuters and visitors will have the added bonus of helping royal watchers make their way painlessly in and out of Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.

On the 30th October Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will have the opportunity to meet the people of Auckland during a public walk at the Viaduct Harbour.

The visit coincides with the launch of an animated bus map designed to promote sustainable travel options in Wynyard Quarter and the Viaduct Harbour. The low-cost digital animation was developed by WSP Opus for the Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association (WQTMA) to provide useful information to commuters and visitors to the area. It is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Anita Potgieter, WQTMA Chair, says the royal walkabout is a great opportunity to promote sustainable travel to locals and visitors.

“Wynyard Quarter has an increasing population on a small land footprint, so encouraging people to find effective ways to get in and around is crucial. To help ease the pressure on the day of the royal visit, we’re recommending that local businesses in the area encourage staff to look at ways of getting to work which doesn’t involve driving alone or even avoid coming into the area at all, by working from home on the day,” says Potgieter.

Potgieter went on to say that sustainable travel, such as car-pooling, buses, trains, ferries, walking and cycling are all covered by the digital map and will become increasingly important for Wynyard Quarter as the area gears up for the America’s Cup in 2021.  

Louise Baker, WSP Opus Smart Mobility Sector Leader, says the animated bus map is a nice demonstration of smart mobility in action.

“Smart mobility is largely about sharing modes of transport, whether we share public transport or private vehicles like e-scooters, bikes or cars. The most crucial element is the mode shift, getting people away from driving alone in their car every day. Events like this royal visit might be just what’s needed to prompt people to change a habit and the new animated map will help people to find out about how to get here by bus.” 

Managing growth

Wynyard Quarter is going through one of the largest urban regeneration in New Zealand, evolving from an industrial port area that was closed to the public to a place where people can live, visit, be entertained and do business.

By completion in 2030 it will be home to around 3,000 residents and 25,000 workers. At present, the population is around 8,500 residents and workers.

Potgieter says the area is well served by public transport and is transforming into a pedestrian, cycle and scooter friendly place, which is essential to embedding sustainable patterns of travel.

“With an increasing number of businesses and residents moving into the area, there is a growing need to ensure everyone is working together.  A real change to travel patterns, on the scale and timeline needed for Wynyard Quarter to function effectively, requires a partnership approach.”