Early signs Northern Motorway congestion is easing


Anecdotal evidence shows the traffic bollards installed along the painted median at the Tram Road onramp on Christchurch’s Northern Motorway are helping to ease congestion during the morning peak.

The NZ Transport Agency installed the bollards last week to help improve traffic flow on the motorway during peak morning travel times, the first of the short-term measures to reduce delays and driver frustration.

The Transport Agency’s Southern Regional Director Jim Harland says Tram Road was identified as one of the two areas where there are significant problems with queuing and traffic merging.

“With the bollards in place, motorists are travelling the full length of the merge lane before moving into the traffic stream on the motorway. This is helping to improve efficiency by keeping traffic flowing and reducing delays both on the motorway and the onramp.

“The network is still operating at capacity and at times we continue to experience breakdowns in traffic flows, but overall the situation has eased a little which is good news for commuters,” he says.

The Transport Agency, and its partners the Christchurch Transport Operations Centre, Waimakariri District Council, Christchurch City Council and ECan, are working on other short-term solutions which it is hoped to introduce in coming weeks.

Mr Harland says the short-term measures will provide some relief but significant change to the delays and congestion being experienced on the Northern Motorway is unlikely until the Western Corridor and Northern Arterial are built during the next four to six years.

“Motorists can also help to improve traffic flows by adopting good driving behaviours, such as merging like a zip, minimising weaving between lanes and using all lane capacity, as well as thinking about what changes they can make to their travel patterns to avoid travelling during peak times.

“We also need everyone to think about what opportunities may exist for them to change their work hours or work from home one or two days a week or whether they can park and ride on public transport or car pool.

“It will take only a 10 per cent reduction in traffic volumes during the morning peak for the network to again cope with volumes,” he says.

For more information please contact:

Jan McCarthy
Media Manager - Christchurch
NZ Transport Agency

T: 03 964 2885 
M: 021 427 442
E: jan.mccarthy@nzta.govt.nz