A traffic signal has been installed at Christchurch’s Halswell Junction Road/Springs Road roundabout to reduce congestion and improve safety during the morning commuter peak.
The signal will be switched on from Wednesday, 13 September for a two-week testing period during the morning peak. The signal will be fully operational for the morning peaks by the end of September.
Electronic signs are in place warning drivers of the change, says NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.
The project is designed to reduce delays for people and bus passengers on Springs Road heading to Christchurch by several minutes, while the Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 2 is being built.
Ms Wright says people travelling on Springs Road from Lincoln, Prebbleton, Rolleston and surrounding areas are experiencing significant delays at the roundabout during the morning peak, 6am to 10am.
“Some mornings it can take more than 12 minutes for people to travel along Springs Road and enter the roundabout because of the constant flow of traffic travelling northwest along Halswell Junction Road,” Ms Wright says.
She says two sensors will ensure traffic is not stopped unnecessarily and the majority of people travelling on Halswell Junction Road will not notice any delays.
“Each sensor will pick up the length of the queues and trigger the operation of the signals,” she says. “Most people will not get a red light and those that do will only be stopped for 10 to 15 seconds to give traffic from Springs Road a chance to enter the roundabout.”
The traffic signal has been installed 80 metres before the roundabout on the Halswell side of Halswell Junction Road. Two sensors have been installed: one about 200 metres before the new traffic signals, and another on Springs Road about 50 metres before the roundabout.
Selwyn Deputy Mayor and Prebbleton resident Malcolm Lyall says he is delighted that the intersection will be improved.
“I’m pleased for our community that the Transport Agency is proactively providing a solution to what has become a frustrating intersection on our local roading network. This change will make a real difference to commuters.”
Ms Wright says the usual give way to the right rules will still apply at the roundabout, even if cars have got a green light.
“The green light will give drivers permission to approach the roundabout, but they will still need to obey the road rules and give way to oncoming traffic once they are at the roundabout,” she says.
The project will cost about $150,000. Visit the project site for more information.