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Aucklanders’ Support for SkyPath is sky high

13 Feb 13

Aucklanders’ Support for SkyPath is sky high

Market research to forecast patronage on the proposed SkyPath across Auckland Harbour Bridge reveals high demand from Aucklanders for recreational trips.


Horizon Research reported that over a million recreational trips could be expected to be taken by Aucklanders in the first year, and 450,000 to a million recreational trips per annum in subsequent years.


The results also show Aucklanders believe the proposed tolls are good value for money.


Summary of key results from the Horizon Research survey:


  • 81% of Aucklanders support the SkyPath on the AHB
  • 88% said they would use SkyPath in the first year.  Assuming that only 20% of people act on their intentions, then over half a million recreational trips across SkyPath would be taken by Aucklanders in the first year. If 45% of people act on their intentions, then the patronage would be well over one million trips.
  • 84% of Aucklanders say they would use it at least annually in subsequent years
  • 84% said they would take out of town visitors to experience SkyPath
  • Over 50% thought the proposed $1.95 toll using a HOP card for a direct crossing (excludes access to observation decks/exhibits/etc.) represented fair value
  • Over 70% thought the $3.50 toll using a HOP card for full access was fair value. 


Project Director Bevan Woodward says in a statement: “While these numbers are really significant and show that there is likely to be more recreational users than the commuter and tourist numbers, we’re not surprised.  The last comparable research was done by NZTA in 2008, which found that over 300,000 Aucklanders would attend a walk across the Auckland Harbour Bridge if it was opened for a single day.  Hence it was deemed too popular to permit[1].”


The market research shows that there is sufficient patronage demand for SkyPath to make the business case work.  Auckland Transport has commissioned Ernst & Young to review the business case for SkyPath.  Their patronage forecast is as follows:





Percentage return trips


Recreational users




Ernst & Young










Auckland Transport

Total per annum:










Revenue p.a.

$3.25 M

$5.56 M


Ernst & Young

Mr Woodward says “We have confirmed new funding to allow us to get on with design work of SkyPath’s access ramps in consultation with stakeholders, research the consent issues, advance the engineering details and finalise funding arrangements for construction and operation.


 “The grant gives us real confidence in the SkyPath project and recognises the work to date by key agencies such NZTA, Auckland Council, ATEED, Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Transport to SkyPath.” 


On Feb 13, Auckland Council’s Transport Committee will decide whether to progress with its potential involvement in SkyPath.  This is another critical juncture for the SkyPath project and presentations will be made on behalf of SkyPath by Bevan Woodward, Steven Proctor of Public Infrastructure Partnership (PIP) Fund and Alex Swney of Heart of the City; see:

 The full Horizon Research report on the bridge pathway survey can be downloaded here.

The Horizon Research survey covered 1,083 residents living within Auckland Region.  Margin of error at a 95% confidence level is +/- 3%

[1]  Geoff Dangerfield “Harbour Bridge Walk too popular too permit” 11 May 2009, NZ Herald