Trials are being set-up throughout Christchurch to look at ways of improving traffic management around road works sites to help reduce motorist delays and minimise driver frustration.
Following the earthquakes, the Christchurch City Council and NZ Transport Agency have been working closely with SCIRT and Environment Canterbury to find ways to keep people, goods and services moving to support the rebuild.
“More and more pressure is being put on the roading network with an ever increasing number of works sites being set-up for the rebuild,” says Christchurch City Council Transport and Greenspace Manager John Mackie.
“As well as vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, our roads are having to accommodate the crews and equipment for repairing our water, stormwater and sewerage pipes, those upgrading utilities and building and repairing our roads, as well as those working in the Central City to rebuild our buildings.”
He says critical to the success of the rebuild and for the region’s economic prosperity is keeping the transport network operating at optimal levels. “To achieve this, we need to keep everyone moving.”
A number of trials and investigations are already underway to look at how to deliver greater efficiency with temporary traffic management, thereby reducing delays and minimising detours.
“There are large numbers of road cones, signage, speed limits and overlapping worksites about the city. With the trials, we’re looking at whether we can use less signage, testing alternative speed management through these areas, looking at new site layouts and ways to improve messaging to make it easier to get about the city.”
Mr Mackie says the trials are being carried out at existing SCIRT works sites, with the first results expected within the next couple of months.
“With the safety of both road workers and road users our top priority, we make no apologies for taking the time to ensure any changes we make do not compromise any levels of safety.
“If changing the way we operate on the ground is likely to put anyone’s safety at greater risk, we will not make the change: it is as simple as that.”
Mr Mackie says in the interim motorists wanting to find out what is happening on our roads and to plan their journey should visit the www.transportforchristchurch.govt.nz(external link) website.
“Visiting the website will help them save time while we complete the trials and look at possible changes to temporary traffic management.”