A traffic signal is being installed at Christchurch’s Halswell Junction Road/Springs Road roundabout this month to reduce congestion and improve safety during the morning commuter peak. The signal will be operational by the end of September.
The NZ Transport Agency project is designed to reduce delays for people and bus passengers on Springs Road heading to Christchurch by several minutes.
Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee 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 (from 6am- 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.
“There are often long lines of traffic on Springs Road, backed up for up to two kilometres while people wait for a safe gap to enter the roundabout. It is frustrating for drivers and also risky as some motorists try to enter the roundabout when it is not safe to do so.”
The traffic signal will be installed 80 metres before the roundabout on the Halswell side of Halswell Junction Road. Two sensors will also be installed - one about 200 metres before the new traffic signals, and another on Springs Road about 50 metres before the roundabout.
The traffic signal will only be used to manage traffic during the morning peak.
Ms Wright says the 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.”
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.”
Following testing, the traffic signal is expected to be operational by the end of September.
Ms Wright says give way 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. More information is available at this link.