Johns Road, Christchurch drivers: changes tomorrow (Thursday), fewer right hand turns


The NZ Transport Agency is urging Christchurch drivers to be aware of changes on Johns Road, State Highway 1, from the Groynes to Sawyers Arms Road roundabout from tomorrow, Thursday 25 February.

Please note, our earlier statement was one day out. Apologies for that. 

The changes, which are permanent and part of the wider upgrade of this busy section of Johns Road, will be in place Thursday morning, 25 February. Drivers should also be careful tonight and the early hours of Thursday morning as road crews make the change with temporary traffic management to ensure safety for everyone.

Johns Road is a major freight and commuter route between Belfast and the airport, linking to Russley Road and the south-western side of Christchurch.

From Thursday morning, northbound traffic on Johns Road (heading towards Belfast, away from the airport) will be directed onto the newly constructed carriageway.

“At this stage southbound traffic will remain on the existing road,” said Colin Knaggs, Highway Manager. “This will allow the completion of work, for example the median barrier, between the north and southbound traffic lanes throughout the site. This change will happen on Wednesday night, weather permitting. Southbound traffic will move to the new alignment in a few weeks time.”

No more right hand turns off Johns Road

One of the major effects of this change, which will increase safety and traffic flow on a busy highway, is that some intersections will no longer be accessible via a right hand turn.

“While temporary restrictions are already in place at Wilkinsons Road and Greywacke Road, these changes will affect motorists using Gardiners Road and Stella Close,” said Mr Knaggs.

He urged motorists to be aware of the new road layout at both ends of the site and to ensure they keep to the posted speed limit for everyone’s safety, including the men and women working on the road and nearby.

“Occasionally we may have to reduce some of the approaches to one lane during off-peak hours. Cycle and pedestrian access will be maintained while our contractors are working. Parking and speed restrictions will remain in place around our sites, we will also use barriers and cones to guide traffic and protect our work crews. We ask motorists to be aware of changes in traffic management, follow on-site signage and drive to the conditions.”

Clearwater Ave, access to Clearwater Golf Course temporary change

As part of this work there will also be a temporary closure of the right turn into Clearwater Avenue. Drivers will be detoured to the Sawyers Arms roundabout to come back on the northbound side of the road.

The bigger picture

The Johns Road (Groynes to Sawyers Arms Road) Upgrade project is part of the Transport Agency’s Christchurch’s SH1 Western Corridor improvements(external link) which will reduce congestion and improve safety between north and south Christchurch along the corridor, and to the airport.  

The upgrade of Johns Road from the Groynes to Sawyers Arms Road is part of the Government's Roads of National Significance Programme(external link). The project is a section of the Western Corridor project which will see SH1 four-laned and median separated from the Groynes to the centre of Hornby and also include the Western Belfast Bypass project currently also being constructed.

More information

  • Johns Road between the Groynes and Sawyers Arms Road will be widened to four lanes (two lanes in each direction) separated by a raised central median and wire rope barrier.
  • Safety and traffic flow will be improved at minor intersections by removing right turns across the highway.
  • The design includes a new roundabout at Clearwater Avenue and the development of a one-way service lane between Wilkinsons Road and Gardiners Road. This will improve safety by minimising the number of properties with direct access onto the highway.
  • There will also be upgraded cycle and pedestrian facilities, improved street lighting and undergrounding of power and telephone lines, improved landscaping and signage along the highway corridor and an enhanced stormwater management systems. The Sawyers Arms Road roundabout will remain unchanged.