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The existing Western Corridor runs along Johns, Russley, Masham and Carmen Roads. When the Western Belfast Bypass is constructed the Western Corridor will run from the Northern Motorway and joint Johns Road near the Groynes. The Western Corridor will be a four lane highway (two lanes in each direction) with a median separating on-coming traffic, selected main road intersections will also be improved.

The Western Corridor SH1 will connect the northern and southern Canterbury areas with Christchurch International Airport allowing medium to long distance journeys between Belfast and Hornby to be safe and efficient.

Traffic volumes on the Western Corridor are increasing and this is expected to continue into the future as commercial and industrial activities grow (particularly in Hornby and at the airport). There is insufficient capacity in the existing two-lane roads to absorb this future traffic growth. To ensure businesses based in and outside Christchurch are able to get their goods to and from suppliers, customers and the airport, the current road requires upgrading to improve safety, reduce congestion and provide travel time certainty.

The Western Corridor (SH1) connects the northern and southern Canterbury areas with Christchurch International Airport, and runs between Belfast in the north and the large industrial area at Hornby in the south. Most of the traffic on the corridor is heading to and from Hornby or the airport, with only around 10% of the traffic travelling further to the south.

The focus of the project is to four-lane SH1 from The Groynes to the centre of Hornby and provide a bypass of Belfast.

Selected intersection improvements will also be needed along the route.

Around 42,000 vehicles per day, amongst the highest for any road in Canterbury, use Main North Road through Belfast to enter and exit Christchurch. Further along the corridor, increased commercial and industrial activity, particularly in Hornby and at the Airport, is creating more traffic and congestion at peak times.


  • The corridor will cause a reduction in congestion and travel times.
  • Journey times for vehicles using the bypass will be up to 5–10 minutes shorter at peak times.
  • An estimated 17,000 fewer vehicles per day on Main North Road will improve the safety and quality of life for Belfast residents.
  • The decrease in traffic volumes will make walking and cycling safer and more attractive.
  • Public transport will have greater scope for improvements. Noise and air pollution will also be reduced.
  • Travelling to the airport from the city will be safer and travel times will be shorter and more reliable.
  • The Western Corridor is part of Christchurch's roads of national significance programme, which means the government has identified it as critical for supporting economic growth, reducing congestion and improving safety in our region.

Christchurch Motorways links