What are the next steps and when will this happen?

The project team is working to progress the design and consenting for the upgrade so the project is delivery-ready.

Further delivery decisions will be made in future years subject to affordability.

What changes are you planning to make?

To move more people, and help reduce congestion at peak times, we’re proposing T2 lanes on Brougham Street. These will operate in the morning and afternoon/evening when roads are busiest, and can be used by cars with two or more people, as well as buses and motorcyclists. . 

T2 lanes help people who share cars or use public transport avoid congestion, meaning they can get where they are going faster. In doing so they help reduce carbon emissions, as well as congestion. When the T2 lanes are operating in the morning and afternoon peaks, parking in the lane will not be available. The rest of the time it will be.

We’re recommending an overbridge as the safest option between Collins Street and Simeon Street for people who are walking or using a bike or scooter, and for people with impaired mobility. We’re working closely with iwi and key stakeholders like the local school on the design options for this bridge.

Intersections will be upgraded along Brougham Street. Traffic signals will be improved, and we’re add turning arrows to make it safer and easier to turn onto and off Brougham Street.  We’re also proposing some turning restrictions. These changes will help reduce queues, keep vehicles moving and make it safer for people using the pedestrian crossings. These changes will also make access across Brougham Street easier for people in cars, on foot or bikes and ensure public transport can move freely.

A shared path will be created along the south side of Brougham Street, from Opawa Road to Simeon Street, joining up with the existing Little River Link Major Cycle Route. This proposal will make it safer for people to connect to the other walking and cycling facilities in the area. The north side footpath on Brougham Street will remain pedestrian only.

We’re proposing new signalised pedestrian crossings at Montreal and Gasson Streets and one near Wilsons Road. While all pedestrian crossings along Brougham Street will be redesigned to give people more room, including people who bike or with impaired mobility, pedestrian refuges will also be improved or added at key places along Brougham Street. The refuges will give people a safe place to wait in the middle of the highway as they cross the road.

Our plans support public transport by making buses more convenient both along and across Brougham Street.

Vehicle access will be discouraged with build outs and cul-de-sacs at some smaller streets to reduce short cutting, improve safety and support quieter neighbourhoods.

We also want to review the speed limit along Brougham Street, so we’re asking what you think about the current speed along this road. We want everyone who travels on or over SH76 (State Highway 76) to be able to get where they’re going safely and easily.  

We want to ‘green up’ parts of Brougham Street; a big change will be new trees and plants along the south side of the road to separate the shared path from the road. In some areas we will connect the new planting to existing parks and green spaces.

While there are no specific improvements planned for freight on Brougham Street, all the improvements proposed will work together to improve safety and freight journey time reliability.

Why are these changes needed?  

We have safety and congestion issues on Brougham Street. We know it is often difficult to get around Brougham Street and the nearby areas, with people walking, cycling, in cars, trucks and buses all competing to travel through and around the same spaces. 

Traffic volumes and travel times have increased significantly and there is congestion during the busy morning and evening peak times.

Residents and people looking to turn on and off the roads into homes or businesses feel unsafe, and crash statistics back this up. Between 2011 and 2021 five people died and 40 people were seriously injured in crashes on Brougham Street between Barrington Overpass to Opawa Road intersection.

Around a quarter of the serious injury crashes involved someone walking or on a bike and around 75 percent of the crashes were at intersections.  

The Greater Christchurch population is expected to increase by about 158,000 to 640,000 (around 32 percent) in the next 30 years. A considerable proportion of this growth is expected to occur in the southwest corridor, meaning more people will be living in, working and travelling along and around the Brougham area. In the next 25 years container throughput at Lyttelton Port is expected to double, and freight in Canterbury in general will increase.  

We want to make Brougham Street easier to use but we don’t want to just build more road space as this will simply encourage more people to drive more cars – making congestion and carbon emissions worse. The space we are freeing up for the T2 lanes will encourage people to change to more environmentally friendly travel options because these will be quicker. Working together with the T2 lanes are changes to the traffic signals. The green light timing changes we are planning at the traffic signals will keep the number of solo drivers getting through in each green phase about the same as before. The extra time at the signals will be used to benefit turning phases and pedestrian crossings.

We want Christchurch to be an attractive city for people to live, work and play in. It’s vital that we create a transport network that is safe, efficient, sustainable and easy to use by everyone - no matter how they choose to get around.  

Have you considered the environment when planning these changes?

While planning the Brougham Street upgrade, we considered climate change and our modelling showed our plans for Brougham should reduce pollution.

We are recommending a transport plan for Brougham Street to enhance the operation and performance of the corridor, making it more efficient, reliable and safe for all users. The Brougham Street project is expected to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adverse effects on the local environment and public health by:

  • using existing infrastructure rather than constructing new infrastructure
  • increasing transport choices and encouraging the use of alternative modes including new pedestrian and cycle crossings, bus infrastructure improvements, and priority lanes for buses and high occupancy vehicles
  • improving traffic management and reducing congestion including bus priority measures, managed lanes, carpooling, traffic signal optimisation and parking management
  • improving freight travel efficiency
  • setting measures to improve the safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other modes.

The SH76 Brougham Street upgrade project is also intended to give effect to Toitu Te Taio | The Waka Kotahi Sustainability Action Plan, which sets out our vision for a low carbon, safe and healthy land transport system. Toitu Te Taio also gives effect to other wider climate change policies and agendas, including:

  • Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019 – contribute to the global effort under the Paris Agreement
  • He Pou a Rangi Climate Change Commission draft advice – recommendations for an integrated national transport network
  • The IPCC Working Group I sixth assessment report findings and recommended actions for emissions cuts.

Toitū Te Taiao – Our Sustainability Action Plan

What is a T2 lane? 

A T2 lane is a restricted traffic lane, like a bus lane. The ones on SH76 Brougham Street would be active at peak times (7am – 9am and 3pm – 6pm) and would be for the exclusive use of buses, motorcyclists, and cars with a driver and one or more passenger. 

T2 lanes are in use around the country. They are designed to encourage more people into fewer vehicles, and onto public transport. This in turn helps prevent people getting stuck in traffic – while reducing the impact on our environment. 

The T2 lanes will use the parking shoulder and space reallocated from the median and existing lane widths.

Why share a ride?

Sharing a ride either on a bus or carpooling is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than driving alone. You can cut your fuel and parking costs and at the same time reduce congestion and harmful emissions. And if you are the passenger you can use the time you’re not driving to do something else.

Where will the T2 lanes be and at what times?

The T2 lanes will most likely be operational from 7am – 9am and 3pm – 6pm on weekdays. The T2 lanes will run from Spencer Street to near Brisbane St eastbound and from just east of Colombo Street to just passed Selwyn Street westbound. However, the road will be set up so these lanes can be extended if and when needed.

How will the T2 lanes be managed?

Electronic out-reach signage will let driver know the lanes are operational and cameras will be used to monitor the T2 lanes. Drivers can be fined $150 for using the T2 lane without a passenger.

What are the out-reaches and other technology planned for the T2 lanes?

Out-reaches and gantries will be constructed along Brougham Street to carry electronic signage to let people know which lanes are the T2 lanes and when the lanes are operational. The out-reaches will also carry cameras to monitor the road and T2 lanes. These structures and attached technology could also be used for other traffic management interventions, future proofing this road.

Will parking be lost as part of this project?

When the T2 lanes are operational from 7am – 9am and 3pm – 6pm there will be no parking along Brougham Street, outside of these hours parking will be possible and the road shoulder.

Some commuters, and residents and businesses directly adjacent to Brougham Street may not favour this option due to losing daytime parking and residents may need to find alternative parking in driveways or on side roads.

Why not make one of the existing lanes the T2 lane and not add a new lane at peak times?

We did look into this option, but modelling showed it created considerably worse congestion, re-routing (moving the problem elsewhere) and rat-running (drivers using residential streets to avoid congestion). It also increased greenhouse gas emissions.

How will the traffic signals be changed to make the road safer and flow better?

Firstly, all right turns off Brougham Street will have right turn arrows to increase safety and so will many of the side roads. Secondly, at present the largest share of green time at all the traffic signals is allocated to Brougham Street and this does create a sense of severance particularly for those heading north-south, pedestrians and cyclists, and this also impacts public transport times. In the morning and evening peaks, the timings of all the traffic signals along this section of Brougham Street will be optimised so a larger share of the signal green time is given to north-south movements, right turn movements, pedestrian crossings and priority for north-south bus movements (like at Colombo Street). This is made possible because of the T2 lane.

Won’t the T2 lanes just make room for more traffic (induce demand) on Brougham Street?

Currently Brougham Street gets the largest share of green traffic light time – which can make it feel like a bit of a barrier to get through, particularly for those heading north or south, people walking and cycling, and also for those relying on public transport.

Adding T2 lanes at peak times would normally just increase the number of cars able to get along Brougham Street at each set of lights. However, we’re proposing to shorten the amount of signal time on Brougham Street so that a similar amount of traffic passes through. The extra capacity allowed by the T2 lanes means we can shorten the amount of green traffic light time on Brougham Street, while still moving the same amount of people. This helps to free up some much-needed traffic light time elsewhere.

We are using the extra green time taken from Brougham Street to make the green right turn arrows and other improvements like pedestrian crossings and bus priority signals possible. This means the solo drivers on Brougham Street will take about the same amount of time to get along Brougham Street as before but people using the T2 lanes will get along Brougham Street faster as their lane will not be as busy.

How did you come up with this plan?

This design has been shaped using insights from our key stakeholders and the community, along with technical analysis and international best practice.

During this project, we’ve been guided by research and several existing strategies, including the Government’s Policy Statement on Transport, work done by Greater Christchurch, Christchurch Strategic Transport Plan, Christchurch Community Outcomes, Our Space and the Sydenham and Selwyn Street Master Plans.

Find links to the research and strategy documents and the history of the project

Did the public get a say?

Insights from the community and key stakeholders have helped us to shape our plan – but before going ahead with construction we asked for feedback one last time to make sure we hadn’t missed anything important.

Between November 2021 and late January 2022, we asked the public if there was anything else we needed to think about before moving forward with our plans to improve safety on Brougham Street. We held a series of public open days and invited people to give feedback online and through our paper feedback forms, which were available from Christchurch City Council service centres and libraries.

Thank you to everyone who got in touch. The project team are analysing the feedback received and working with landowners and key stakeholders. We’ll update you again before we make any decisions on the final design and start construction. At this stage we expect to see work get underway in 2023.

Aren’t trucks part of the problem? Why not just put all the freight on rail?

We agree that getting freight onto rail is a great idea. By 2052, freight tonnage in New Zealand is expected to increase by almost 40 percent. Rail freight needs to play a key part in moving goods - without it New Zealand would need another 24,000 trucks on the road. The Government recently released The New Zealand Rail Plan, setting out its vision and priorities for rail until 2030 and the levels of investment needed to achieve it.

However, not all freight on Brougham Street is going to or from the Port, most of it (80%) is supplying the surrounding industrial areas which do not have rail sidings; therefore, road freight will likely always be needed.

The changes we are making on Brougham Street will help reduce congestion and improve safety while rail is being upgraded and give the region freight options in the future.

Why do you need to build an overbridge? Couldn’t you just improve the pedestrian crossing?

We have looked at a several different options for this location. It’s a very busy area with significant safety issues and we believe an overbridge is the only safe solution, especially as we are expecting growth in both the population and freight in this area in the future. An underpass was considered but was not possible due to the ground conditions, the number of existing services under the ground, community feedback and the difficulty and uncertainty of construction in this area.

Why are you reviewing speed limits?

Along with physical safety improvements, we are reviewing the speed limit on SH76 Brougham Street. Even when speed isn’t the direct cause of a crash, it is always a factor in the severity and can be the difference between a person being killed, seriously injured, or walking away from a crash. A small change in speed can make a big difference to the outcome of a crash, especially when pedestrians and cyclists are involved. As speeds increase, people have less time to react. When speeds are safe for the road environment, simple mistakes are less likely to end in tragedy.

As part of this project, we would like to review the speed on Brougham Street At present the speed limit in this section of Brougham Street is 60km/h, we want to know if people feel this speed is safe and right for this road. If we then believe a different speed would be safer or more appropriate, we will consult people on this new proposed speed.

How does this fit with other work planned around Christchurch?

The vision is for this area to be a great place to live and work – where we balance economic growth, business vitality and the role the area plays in supporting central city revitalisation, with transport needs, travel choice, safety, community, and neighbourhood liveability.

Work on Brougham Street has been fast-tracked because this project is part of the Government’s NZ Upgrade Programme, which is designed to save lives, provide more travel choices, help people get where they’re going safely and grow our economy.

Where will there be green right turning arrows and where will there be no turning on Brougham?

All right turns from Brougham Street will be protected (have a greenlight arrow - we call this a protected right turn), and some right turns from side roads will have greenlight arrow too.

There will be no right turns at:

  • Selwyn Street - banned right turn for west approach.
  • Durham Street - banned right turn for east approach.
  • Gasson Street - banned right turn from west approach.

There will be no left turns at:

  • Colombo Street - banned left turn for west and east approaches.
  • Antigua Street – banned left turn from north approach.
  • Opawa Road - banned left turn from east approach.

These changes are designed to encourage people to use safer or more direct routes, to protect cyclists or to make other changes possible along the road.

Map of Brougham Street showing alternative routes

View larger image [JPG, 541 KB]

Which roads will be traffic calmed or closed at Brougham Street?

The proposed cul-de-sacs and other traffic calming measures aim to discourage people from using these residential streets as short-cuts. These changes will support quieter, more liveable neighbourhoods and improve safety at intersections with State Highway 76.

Traffic calming and raised platforms are proposed on:

  • Spencer Street, Scott Street, Orbell Street, Buchan Street, Hawdon Street, Hutcheson Street, Cadogan Street, Brisbane Street and both sides of Wilsons Road.

These sideroads will have reduced access or be closed:

  • Collins Street, Simeon Street, Kipling Street (left in only), Bolton Ave, Barrie Street, James K Baxter Place, Hutcheson Street (left in only), Scott Street (left out only), and Opawa Road slip lanes.

Will there be new traffic signals at the Montreal/Brougham intersection?

Yes, this additional set of traffic signals includes a pedestrian crossing and will improve safety but also allow pedestrians and cyclists to use this intersection which is currently quite intimidating for more vulnerable users. This will provide a better more direct link into the central city via the Montreal Street northbound one-way system.

Some people don’t like staggered pedestrian crossings with islands in the middle of the road because they feel unsafe. Why can’t you make the pedestrian crossing cover the whole width of the road in one go?

If the traffic signals need to be set up to get a pedestrian all the way across a multi laned road in one go, the times in the traffic signal cycle when this is possible is limited and pedestrians may need to wait for quite a while. Pedestrians may also have to start crossing the road in the first 4-5 seconds of the ‘walk’ signal going green, to be sure to get across the road. Staggered pedestrian crossings help make crossing the road safer and they give pedestrians more opportunities to cross the road during one signal cycle. While it may seem more dangerous to wait on a traffic island in the road median, it is no more dangerous than waiting on the footpath.

Planned and new complementary projects

During the planning of this project, we’ve worked with Christchurch City Council and other partners who want Christchurch to be the kind of place we all want to live in. We’ve considered nearby areas and future projects to make sure our plans are compatible. We’ve also discovered opportunities for complementary projects that will further improve public transport and cycling, like bus improvements on Selwyn Street and better cycle facilities on Gasson Street. We’re also looking into ways to better manage the number of vehicles coming onto Brougham Street from the motorway. While not part of the Brougham Street Upgrade, we’ve recommended these projects are progressed.