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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Direction 1: Maximise safety, environmental protection and emissions reduction

​Our transport system creates unacceptable levels of harm to people and the environment.

Protecting against this will require transformational change, creating a more efficient, resilient and equitable transport system for Auckland.

Achieving this will also have a wider positive impact on biodiversity, water quality and air quality.

Safety remains an issue for transport in Auckland. The number of traffic-related deaths and serious injuries decreased from the 1980s until the early 2010s, but has increased again in the past decade.

​For the latest data, visit the Auckland Plan annual monitoring reports.

In 2020, Auckland Transport adopted Vision Zero for Tāmaki-Makaurau. This aims for no deaths or serious injuries on Auckland’s transport system by 2050.

The strategy follows a Safe System approach that acknowledges that as people we all make mistakes, but that should not mean someone dies or is seriously injured on our roads. It is an approach that values everyone using the road, not just those in vehicles.

Over 40 per cent of Auckland’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transport. 86 per cent of these come from road transport.

Reducing these emissions is a key part of Auckland’s approach to acting on climate change.

To meet the goals set out in Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan, transport emissions will need to be reduced by 64 per cent by 2030.

In 2022 the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway was adopted to outline how to achieve that goal. It identified eleven critical transformations across the whole of the transport system, from the way we all use transport to how we plan for land use.

Transport is also responsible for other forms of environmental harm, some of which are likely to become even more challenging due to the impacts of climate change. These include:

  • run-off from paved and sealed surfaces, often containing copper, zinc and sediment, which pollutes waterways
  • impermeable surfaces that prevent rainwater from recharging groundwater reserves, increasing the pressure on the stormwater network and contributing to flooding
  • pollutants and particulate emissions from vehicle exhausts, tyres and road dust that reduce air quality and harm people's health. The adverse effects of this are most pronounced for households living near major roads and people with certain medical conditions. This creates and exacerbates health inequities.

The issues of transport emissions, safety and equity are closely connected, so taking action to reduce transport emissions has the potential to produce better transport and access outcomes for all Aucklanders.

Priorities are to:

  • most importantly, reduce our reliance on cars and support people to walk, cycle and use public transport
  • rapidly adopt low-emissions vehicles, including micro-mobility devices
  • have less carbon-intensive heavy transport and freight
  • improve safety and personal security for all users of the transport system including those walking, cycling, and using public transport.

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