A new managed priority lane from the Te Atatu Peninsula will begin operating on Monday 29 June, signalling the completion of a series of improvements to the interchange at Te Atatu Road on the Northwestern Motorway.
Waitakere motorists can now take advantage of improvements by the NZ Transport Agency which has seen two sets of ramp signals installed, a new managed priority lane, new traffic lights and widening of on and off-ramps to improve capacity and traffic flow. The first phase of work at the interchange began in November last year with work on all five ramps having been completed progressively over the past seven months.
Ramp signals - traffic lights at on-ramps that manage the rate at which vehicles move down the ramp and onto the motorway - help improve traffic flows and safety on the motorway, while enabling more consistent speeds, safer merging and more predictable travel times. The signals operate only when needed during busy periods and remain off at all other times.
Managed priority lanes are special lanes that can be used by certain vehicles to bypass the signals while they are operating. The lanes are open at all times. Light vehicles under 3.5 tonnes including courier vans and utes are not permitted to use the lanes unless there are two or more people in the vehicle. Motorists are advised to look out for signs on the approaches to the on-ramp to show which vehicles can use the lanes.
The managed priority lane on the citybound on-ramp from the Peninsula can be used by trucks, buses, taxis, motorcycles and car-pool vehicles (two or more people per car). Priority vehicles can also access the lane from Te Atatu South by turning right from a new slip lane.
NZTA Acting Regional Director for Auckland and Northland Tommy Parker says that the ramp signals and associated improvements are significant for local motorists, ‘The widening of the on-ramp to two lanes on the two citybound ramps from Te Atatu South and from the Peninsula has meant a priority lane could be created at this key interchange, which had been only partially signalised for years. Now this gives priority vehicles the advantage of faster access to the motorway during peak times,’ he says.
There are now eight ramp signals operating on the Northwestern Motorway between Newton Road and Te Atatu Road. Ramp signals at Lincoln Road and Royal Road will be completed and commissioned over the next two months. The ramp signals will improve a number of capacity and safety issues on the Northwestern Motorway and are being co-ordinated with Waitakere City's planned improvements to Lincoln Road and Te Atatu Road. A priority lane is also being installed on the Lincoln Road citybound on-ramp.
The operations at ramps on the Southern Motorway since 2007 have achieved significant peak period improvements, with a 15% gain in travel speeds and a 5 to 15% increase in the rate of vehicles flowing on the motorway.
For more information please contact:
Auckland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
T 64 9 368 2142
M 027 213 7616