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Motorists warned of frequent changes to central city traffic

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Christchurch motorists are being warned to plan their trips and, where possible, avoid driving through the Central City during peak hours with the major infrastructure rebuild getting underway this year within the four avenues.

“Motorists need to leave early, allow plenty of travel time, combine trips and expect frequent changes to traffic management on busy arterial routes,” says the Christchurch Transport Operations Centre Manager Ryan Cooney.
“One-third of the infrastructure rebuild work has already been completed in the Central City, with 2014 set to be an even bigger year. While everything is being done to keep traffic moving there will be delays.

“Work will begin to ramp up in March/April and will remain steady throughout the year. This makes it critical that everyone takes the time to visit the www.tfc.govt.nz(external link) (external link) website and plans their journey.”

Mr Cooney says motorists will need to be patient as they navigate road works in the Central City.
“We understand delays are frustrating but motorists can also help by following some basic driving principles: be courteous to other drivers, pay attention at lights to ensure better traffic flows, use all lanes available and merge like a zip when required and always turn into the closest lane on one-way streets.

“Observing these basic driving behaviours will actually help with traffic flow and get you to your destination quicker and safely.”

Mr Cooney says each day CTOC will be bringing you the latest information on road works in the Central City at www.tfc.govt.nz(external link) or tune into CTV where the latest Central City traveller information will screen at 5pm, 6.30pm, 9.30pm, 7am, 8am, 9am and noon.

“Everything possible is being done to keep residents informed of what is happening on the roads; we just need all road users to keep checking our website and stay informed.”

SCIRT General Manager, Duncan Gibb, says there will be more than 40 crews working within the four avenues in March/April.  “We are working closely with CCDU, Christchurch City Council and private developers to ensure we complete our work ahead of them.

“Our crews and traffic managers will make every effort to maintain access to business and we in turn encourage residents to go the extra mile to support the retailers operating near SCIRT works sites and the Central City in general.

Christchurch Central Development Unit director Warwick Isaacs says having the rebuilt infrastructure in place is essential for redevelopment of the central city, including construction of anchor projects and private development.

“We’ve already seen a start to building on anchor projects such as the Avon River Precinct and Justice and Emergency Services Precinct and this year we will see construction starting on a number of other keenly awaited projects like the Metro Sports Facility and the new Margaret Mahy Amazing Place playground,’’ Mr Isaacs says.
“We are also seeing private development flourishing, but all of this relies on having reliable infrastructure to connect to.’  

“This means a lot of activity and some inconvenience for people, but I know peoples’ patience will be rewarded as they see their fantastic new central city taking shape this year.’’

Editor's Note:
The Christchurch Transport Operations Centre (CTOC) is a partnership between the Christchurch City Council, the NZ Transport Agency and Environment Canterbury to monitor and manage the roading network, both local roads and state highways to improve traffic flows, by reducing congestion and delays on all routes, but in particular key commuter, public transport and freight routes.

For further information: Christchurch Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
Ph: 021 427 442

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