NZTA reducing motorways' visual clutter with safer, larger signs


Auckland's motorway network is getting an information makeover as the NZ Transport Agency's Auckland Motorway Alliance (AMA) progressively rolls out new signage along the city's state highways that is easier and safer for drivers to read.

The new signs are larger than existing ones and can display more information. In some cases, two of the new signs carry the same amount of information previously displayed on six traditional signs.

Larger signage also improves safety and cuts back on visual clutter, says the NZTA's acting State Highways Manager for Auckland, Steve Mutton.

"Fewer signs means there is less distraction for drivers in a high speed motorway environment, but they still get essential information to enable them to make their journeys safely," Mr Mutton adds.

Mr Mutton says combining messages onto one sign makes it easier for drivers to absorb information, especially at motorway on and off ramps.

"Too many signs detract from the messages they carry," says Mr Mutton.  "By placing essential information on the same sign, it means that where there would have been six signs at on-ramp and off-ramp locations, there are now only two."

The NZTA is prioritising higher risk sites, but plans over time to roll out the new integrated signage along the entire network. The first of the new signs have been installed at the Ellerslie-Panmure and Greenlane inter-changes on the Southern Motorway (State Highway 1), and at the SH20-1 Manukau Extension.

Mr Mutton said that the new signage would also be less expensive to maintain.

"Besides less visual clutter, fewer signs mean that the cost of installation and maintenance drops. And just as importantly in terms of safety, there are also fewer roadside objects for vehicles to potentially strike."

About AMA

The Auckland Motorway Alliance (AMA) was formed in 2008 to maintain and operate Auckland's 220kms of motorway network. Led by the NZTA, the AMA comprises Fulton Hogan, Opus International Consultants, Beca, Resolve Group and Armitage Systems Ltd.

As well as being a first point of call for customers, the AMA is responsible for the day to day operation of the 220 kilometres of the Auckland motorway network including traffic and environmental management, research and development, safety work, and maintenance.