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Paekākāriki Hill Road closure trial results

To improve journey times and improve safety around Paekākāriki Hill Road, Friday evening peak closures of the Paekākāriki Hill Road have been taking place since November 2018.

Based on the journey time and safety improvements observed, we are continuing with the Friday 3–7pm closures.

We are monitoring the closures carefully to ensure those benefiting outweigh those impacted, whilst we continue to improve safety.

This is a joint initiative between NZ Transport Agency, NZ Police, Kāpiti Coast District Council and Porirua City Council.

Journey times

Last updated: 30 May 2019

Now we’ve passed the busy Christmas, New Year, Wellington Anniversary, Easter and Anzac Day peak traffic volumes, we’ve observed the most recent Friday closures are having a greater journey time saving, especially later in the peak period between 5–7pm.


SH1 Northbound from Wellington
Plimmerton to Mackays Crossing

There are approximately 1,000 vehicles an hour using this section of SH1 during a Friday afternoon peak.

The number of vehicles leaving Wellington Northbound earlier, between 3–4pm, is increasing.  When compared to the same period 12 months ago, these travellers are not experiencing much change in their travel time between Plimmerton and Mackays Crossing. This compares to much improved travel times, up to 20 minutes shorter, being experienced between 5–7pm.


SH58 Northbound
Pauatahanui to SH1 Mackay Crossing

There are approximately 150 vehicles an hour using this route during a Friday afternoon peak.

When compared to the same period 12 months ago, these travellers are experiencing longer journey times, up to 16 minutes longer, especially by those who previously used the Paekākāriki Hill Road as a State Highway alternative. These vehicles are now required to use the longer but safer SH1 detour. 

We recognise the inconvenience to to these travellers in terms of longer travel times, but there are safety benefits for them and the local community, as well as travel time improvements for the large number of users of SH1.


SH1 Southbound towards Wellington
Mackays Crossing to Plimmerton

There are approximately 900 vehicles an hour using this section of SH1 during a Friday afternoon peak.

When compared to the same period 12 months ago, these travellers are experiencing up to 9 minutes shorter travel times between Mackays Crossing and Plimmerton, with the shorter times being between 5–7pm.


SH1 Southbound
Mackays Crossing to SH58 Pauatahanui

There are approximately 30 vehicles an hour using this route during a Friday afternoon peak.

When compared to the same period 12 months ago, these travellers are experiencing up to 5 minutes shorter travel times between Mackays Crossing and Plimmerton.  With the shorter times being between 5–7pm.

Volumes

We have now passed the busiest time of the year December–March, but traffic growth continues along the SH1 Section.

Safety outcomes

As well as improving journey times for nearly half of road users, the trials have also successfully reduced safety risks for road users and the community on the Paekākāriki Hill Road.

In the past, an estimated total of 710 vehicles regularly use the less safe Paekākāriki Hill Road during the 3pm to 7pm period on a Friday afternoon.  610 of these vehicles travel northbound and merge with heavy traffic on SH1 at Paekākāriki. As a result of the Paekakariki Hill Road closures, these 710 vehicles take other routes instead, resulting in reduced safety risks for road users and the local community.

Prior to the peak time closures of the Paekākāriki Hill Road, the past 5-years’ crash statistics show that there were four times more crashes per 1,000 vehicles on the hill road, when compared to the route Grays Road to SH1 through Pukerua Bay route. If involved in a crash on the hill road, the likelihood of it resulting in high severity injuries is much greater.

Proportion of journeys and their journey time impacts

The following information compares six Fridays during April/May 2018 with the last six Friday closures during April/May 2019.

pie chart

 

ImpactKey
Much shorter (15 to 25 minutes)  
Shorter (3 to 15 minutes)  
Insignificant change (-3 and +3 minutes)  
Longer (3 to 15 minutes)  
Much longer (15 to 25 minutes)  
SH1 Plimmerton to:Pukerua BayPaekākārikiMackays Crossing
Northbound Number of journeys
(avg. since Christmas – past PHR users)
Impact* Average difference in minutes on trial Fridays compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 1,138   2.4 0.6 0.4
4pm – 5pm 1,053   -1.2 -6.6 -7.4
5pm – 6pm 984   -13.2 -24.3 -25.3
6pm – 7pm 1,050   -12.9 -23.2 -24.2
Total 4,225    
Mackays Crossing to:PaekākārikiPukerua BayPlimmerton
Southbound Number of journeys
(avg. since Christmas – past PHR users)
Impact* Average difference in minutes on trial Fridays compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 918   -0.1 -0.2 -0.7
4pm – 5pm 940   -1.8 -2.0 -2.6
5pm – 6pm 908   -8.1 -8.5 -9.0
6pm – 7pm 636   -5.9 -6.5 -7.0
Total 3,402    
SH58 Pauahatanui to:Mackays Crossing via Grays Road, rather than Paekākāriki Hill Road
Northbound Number of journeys impacted
(June KCDC data)
Impact* Average difference in minutes compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 46   7.1
4pm – 5pm 171   16.4
5pm – 6pm 278   10.6
6pm – 7pm 115   0.3
Total 610    
Mackays Crossing to:SH58 Pauahatanui, via Grays Road, rather than Paekākāriki Hill Road
Southbound Number of journeys impacted
(June KCDC data)
Impact* Average difference in minutes compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 26   1.0
4pm – 5pm 42   -1.0
5pm – 6pm 21   -4.8
6pm – 7pm 14   -4.0
Total 103    
Total journeys during trial period
SH1 7,627
Paekākāriki Hill Road 713

The following information compares all Fridays within 12 months prior to any Paekākāriki Hill closure to all Friday closures since November 2018.

Dates such as Christmas Eve and Easter Friday have been excluded due to low volumes, making them outliers.

pie chart
SH1 Plimmerton to:Pukerua BayPaekākārikiMackays Crossing
Northbound Number of journeys
(avg. since Christmas – past PHR users)
Impact* Average difference in minutes on trial Fridays compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 1,138   3.6 3.0 3.0
4pm – 5pm 1,053   4.7 0.7 0.1
5pm – 6pm 984   -2.1 -11.6 -12.3
6pm – 7pm 1,050   -7.0 -16.5 -17.0
Total 4,225    
Mackays Crossing to:PaekākārikiPukerua BayPlimmerton
Southbound Number of journeys
(avg. since Christmas – past PHR users)
Impact* Average difference in minutes on trial Fridays compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 918   0.0 0.1 -0.1
4pm – 5pm 940   -1.2 -1.3 -1.6
5pm – 6pm 908   -6.0 -6.3 -7.0
6pm – 7pm 636   -4.3 -4.8 -5.6
Total 3,402    
SH58 Pauahatanui to:Mackays Crossing via Grays Road, rather than Paekākāriki Hill Road
Northbound Number of journeys impacted
(June KCDC data)
Impact* Average difference in minutes compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 46   9.0
4pm – 5pm 171   25.0
5pm – 6pm 278   24.0
6pm – 7pm 115   10.0
Total 610    
Mackays Crossing to:SH58 Pauahatanui, via Grays Road, rather than Paekākāriki Hill Road
Southbound Number of journeys impacted
(June KCDC data)
Impact* Average difference in minutes compared to non-trial Fridays
3pm – 4pm 26   2.0
4pm – 5pm 42   0.0
5pm – 6pm 21   -4.0
6pm – 7pm 14   -3.0
Total 103    
Total journeys during trial period
SH1 7,627
Paekākāriki Hill Road 713

* Impact in minutes, view key.

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