Stage Two: Brigham Creek to Kumeū flyer - September 2022

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Temporary right turn ban from Coatesville/Riverhead Highway onto SH16

Last year we asked for public feedback on our proposal to ban right turns from Coatesville-Riverhead highway onto SH16. We considered your feedback alongside other technical information and have decided to implement this ban.

You can read a summary of the feedback we received or view the full feedback report:

The right turn ban will make it safer for people using the intersection and help traffic flow more smoothly along SH16 while we complete the design and secure the approvals needed to construct a new roundabout. This is an interim solution and we know that it will not solve all of the issues in this area which is why we remain focussed on delivering the permanent improvements as quickly as we can.

We have now secured a contractor to undertake this work and this ban will be implemented in May 2022.

Consultation questions and answers

  •   Why are you implementing a right-turn ban out of Coatesville/Riverhead Highway?

    We heard from the community that a solution is needed now to improve safety at the Coatesville/Riverhead Highway (C/R Highway) and SH16 intersection. We assessed the intersection to see if there were any interim options that we could deliver that are quick, cost effective and don’t require consents or land acquisition.

    While we’re working on the design for the permanent improvements, we will ban right-turns out of C/R Highway onto SH16.

    The right turn ban will make it safer for people using the intersection and help traffic flow more smoothly along SH16 while we complete the design and secure the approvals needed to construct a new roundabout. This is an interim solution and we know that it will not solve all of the issues in this area which is why we remain focussed on delivering the permanent improvements as quickly as we can.

  •   What are the benefits of the right turn ban?
    • Improve safety for all road users
    • Help traffic flow more smoothly along the corridor
    • Improve safety of the SH16 intersection by reducing the number of conflicting movements
    • Ensure right turning vehicles from SH16 will only have one access point, preventing vehicles from entering the wrong lane
  •   How much time does this add to my journey?

    If you are travelling from Riverhead, the alternative route adds approximately 100 metres to your journey. For people who live off C/R Highway between SH16 and Old Railway Road, the journey is no more than 3.7kms longer.

  •   Why are you not banning all right-turn movements from SH16 and Coatesville/Riverhead Highway?

    A number of solutions were considered as part of this interim measure including banning right-turns from SH16 onto the C/R Highway. 

    A right-turn ban from C/R Highway would have a high impact on Taupaki roundabout due to the afternoon and weekend peak volumes of people making this turn. It would significantly decrease the efficiency of the Taupaki roundabout which we know is already a concern for the local community. A right turn into C/R Highway can also be done safely given the existing right turn bay. 

    The existing bus route that Auckland Transport runs, as well as school buses, currently use this intersection to turn right onto C/R Highway. Banning right turns would negatively impact these services.

    It will also have a negative impact on the nearby retail businesses and may also lead to unsafe U-turn movements on SH16, in particular:

    • Traffic surveys identified that nearly 90% of the vehicles entering Boric and Blossom café turn right from SH16 and then turn left from C/R Highway into the businesses.
    • Banning right turns from SH16 would result in an additional 385 vehicles per hour in the afternoon peak using the nearest Old North Road / Taupaki Road roundabout. It is also possible that some vehicles may attempt to make unsafe U-turn movements on the SH16 to the west of the subject intersection before reaching the roundabout.

    We’ve heard from members of the community that some people already use Taupaki roundabout to turn right instead of the C/R intersection. The banning of right-turn movements out of C/R highway may encourage more people to use Taupaki roundabout for all movements in and out of this area.

  •   Why are you not putting a left turn slip lane onto SH16 from Coatesville/Riverhead Highway?

    This project is about improving safety for all road users. A left turn slip lane was considered in the early stages of the project and ruled out because:

    • At the moment the stop sign at the intersection enables safe turning movements, as people slow down to stop and look for a gap before merging. A left turn slip lane has the potential risk of high severity crashes due people not slowing down to merge with traffic on SH16
    • The conflict between vehicles turning left onto SH16 would likely just move further along the highway. It will also make it dangerous for the properties on the corner of the intersection to enter and exit their driveways
    • A left turn slip lane will require additional cost and time to implement, delaying any improvements and will become redundant once a permanent roundabout is constructed.
  •   Why can’t you ban right turns from SH16 in the morning only?

    There are a number of reasons why this is not possible. These include:

    • Impact on Auckland Transport’s bus network as well as school bus routes
    • Cause confusion to the community and others travelling through the area, especially for those following online maps and not familiar with the area
    • Drivers may decide to make an unsafe U-turn into the nearest driveway or Boric carpark which increases the safety risk for everyone
    • Negative impact on traffic to set up and remove the blocked turning bay
    • Costly to have traffic management every single day which would be required to temporarily block and remove the right-turn bay
    • Negative impact on the local retail businesses close to the intersection
    • Enforcement would likely be required in the form of either a police presence or cameras. Without this people may ignore the morning ban.
  •   Why can’t you just build a roundabout now?

    Design for a roundabout is underway. A roundabout requires consents such as a resource consent as well as likely needing some land acquisition. These processes take time, which is why we are proposing an interim measure. The proposed interim solution is only a temporary fix, and we understand the importance of this roundabout which is why we’re progressing the design with urgency.

  •   Why can’t you put in traffic lights?

    Traffic lights are not a quick solution and would require a larger footprint and cost significantly more than we have budget for as an interim solution. They are not within scope of this short-term work. 

    As part of our long-term work, a roundabout was the preferred choice for the community.

  •   Why don’t you put in dynamic lanes on SH16?

    Dynamic lanes are not recommended on a high-speed network, which SH16 is considered as. Safety is the key consideration for this project, and safety risks increase on dynamic lanes when there are access ways on both sides of the corridor and at intersections. There are also increased safety risks for on-road cyclists.

    Dynamic lanes also require additional land which comes at a cost. This would not be a quick solution, nor is it within scope or budget of the project.

  •   What is happening with the rest of the Stage 2 improvements?

    Stage 2 is progressing, with detailed design underway. Like the rest of New Zealand and other parts of the world, we are facing the challenges related to the impacts of COVID-19, a constrained labour market, supply chain issues and cost escalations. While design work has been taking place, we have secured additional funding to cover this rise in costs.

    Once the design has been confirmed following landowner engagement, we aim to lodge a consent application with Auckland Council in late 2022.

    At this stage, implementation is planned to commence in 2024, subject to land acquisition and alteration of our designation.

  •   Will you be consulting on the long-term plans for this section of SH16?

    We have consulted with the community on multiple occasions throughout the life of the project and this feedback has been considered and integrated into the current detailed design.

    Along with the previous community consultation, we are working closely with mana whenua, Rodney Local Board and people with property close the project to get their views. We have heard that the community wants us to get on with the project. The focus of our engagement will be with potentially affected landowners along SH16.

    Waka Kotahi will use feedback and technical information to confirm the final design and obtain the necessary permissions (Resource Consents and Notices of Requirement) to upgrade the highway.