Trans­port Agency re­turns merg­ing lane

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARY FITZGER­ALD

Im­me­di­ate changes have been put in place to quell road user frus­tra­tions about de­lays on the west­bound off-ramp onto St Lukes Road.

Traf­fic backed up for nearly 2km in peak hours as mo­torists were hav­ing to stop be­fore turn­ing left onto the ar­te­rial road.

Traf­fic used to be free-flow­ing for those ex­it­ing the north­west­ern mo­tor­way - un­til a give-way sign was in­stalled at the top of the of­framp.

The free left turn onto St Lukes Road has been tem­po­rar­ily re­in­stated by NZTA to help traf­fic on the off-ramp and mo­tor­way exit lane flow more freely.

‘‘We have lis­tened to the feed­back from our cus­tomers and are now mak­ing some im­me­di­ate changes to im­prove the queues for mo­torists us­ing the west­bound off-ramp,’’ NZTA Auck­land highway man­ager Brett Glid­don said.

‘‘The Trans­port Agency un­der­stands the frus­tra­tions of mo­torists who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing changes at the St Lukes In­ter­change while we man­age cur­rent traf­fic on a lay­out de­signed for fu­ture traf­fic flows,’’ Glid­don said.

Mt Al­bert res­i­dent Vikki Wat­son said she had been dis­ap­pointed to learn that when the sign was in­stalled it was to be a per­ma­nent fix­ture and is de­lighted that the NZTA has de­cided to re­move it.

‘‘This was a clas­sic ex­am­ple of: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’’ she said.

Wat­son said the off-ramp had turned into ‘‘a car park’’ in rush hour af­ter the in­stal­la­tion of the give-way sign, with traf­fic at a stand­still.

Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board mem­ber Graeme Easte said ‘‘it’s a tri­umph of com­mon sense’’.

‘‘To have the traf­fic merg­ing off the ramp on to St Lukes Road again is a good in­terim so­lu­tion,’’ Easte says.

Bike Auck­land ex­pressed con­cerns about the off ramp merg­ing traf­fic.

‘‘While the lane merge would essen­tially be as be­fore, for a per­son on a bike rid­ing from the bridge south along St Lukes Road, this was al­ways a prob­lem­atic out­come,’’ Bike Auck­land in­fra­struc­ture li­ai­son Max Ro­b­itzsch said.

NZTA con­firmed that up­graded traf­fic sig­nals will be com­mis­sioned in the next cou­ple of weeks. These will make the traf­fic lights more adap­tive to chang­ing traf­fic flows and will cre­ate longer pe­ri­ods for traf­fic to turn left with­out hav­ing to merge from the over­bridge.

CHRIS MCKEEN / FAIR­FAX NZ

Vikki Wal­ton from Mt Al­bert is de­lighted that changes have been put in place on the off-ramp on to St Lukes Road.

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