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Te Puna Station Road closure a ‘positive thing’

Te Puna Station Road is currently closed to motorists. Image: SunLive/Daniel Hines.

The closure of Te Puna Station Road is reducing a driver’s commute as he makes his way from Aongatete to Tauranga each morning.

Scott Robertson says his commute time has reduced consistently by 20 to 40 minutes, whilst the road has been closed.

He says a commute that was taking 65 to 75 minutes with the road open, is now taking 40-45 minutes.

“It’s about 30 to 35 minutes off peak. You can also monitor this on google maps.”

In the past, Scott says the traffic came to a stop on State Highway 2 at the junction.

“You could also see the traffic backing up to Omokoroa. Currently the traffic is flowing straight through and only backing up to Te Puna, but crucially, it remains moving.

Scott is pretty sure there will be plenty of scientific evidence available to NZTA on how to maintain and improve traffic flow.

“One would assume that at the top of the list of their responsibilities is to ensure the safe and smooth flow of traffic on state highways.

“If that means closing Te Puna Station Road, then so be it.

“The problem at present, and going forward, is the disruption to traffic flow on SH2 during the morning peak caused primarily by the increase in traffic on the highway through population growth, especially Omokoroa.

“This has resulted in an ever increasing number of commuters using Te Puna Station Road as a rat race to skirt the traffic on the highway. The more that do this, the worse the tailback becomes. So it’s a behavioural thing as much as traffic density thing.

“I can think of a number of ways to fix this without permanently closing the road; closure at peak times only, a traffic light controlled intersection like used on motorways, to deter rat runners at peak times, plenty of speed bumps, and a barrier that is operated at peak times at some point on the road.”

Scott sees the road being closed as a positive thing.

“It’s certainly a positive thing for hundreds of commuters that are delayed every morning. Close it now until either another solution is found or until there are alternative routes/systems into Tauranga for commuters from the north.

“Any simple fix that can be made today to improve traffic flow, is a no brainer.

“I expect there is a political element to this and there will obviously be those who will swear it’s their God given right to use the SH2 junction either as a resident or as a rat runner, otherwise it would have been done already.

“It’s up to NZTA to rise above the noise and local politics, and perform its basic function to keep the traffic flowing on its highways as efficiently as possible for as many vehicles as possible.

“Apologies to NZTA if the current road works are being undertaken under the radar as part of some cunning plan to address the problem. If not then they need to grow some balls and do their job.

“Never before have we been so grateful for roadworks.”

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6 Comments
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WTF

Posted on 21-06-2019 14:02 | By

Don. what are you talking about ? The road has been closed for 3 weeks. It has reduced commute times by 30 to 40 minutes every day. That’s 1000 commuters (and WBOP voters) per hour (NZTA figures) spending 40 minutes less time in their cars at peak. It’s not rocket science it’s going on right now every morning of the week. The rat runners haven’t gone away it’s currently quicker for everyone , it’s called traffic dynamics. Why is this confusing ?

Moving the run

Posted on 21-06-2019 10:31 | By

Pushing everything back to the roundabout will make Snodgrass to Roundabout slower ( from 8 minutes to 10) rat run will use Snodgrass - Armstrong - Te Puna in 4 minute sprint and leave those on SH2 to watch them enter ahead at the roundabout . Travel time at peak is now 2 minutes faster (roundabout to bridge) on SH2 with old rat run directed to Clarke Road

Great, Scott

Posted on 20-06-2019 17:05 | By Feruno

I agree with Scott, and note that the rat runners seem to think ’merge like a zip ’applies to that intersection, and get grumpy if they are not allowed their ’right’ to barge in. A boom sounds like a good idea, and that would allow the Wairoa rd. residents to use the intersection safely and legitimately, then I do not mind letting them in. At the moment, everyone is being penalised by the rat runners

Close it for good!!!

Posted on 20-06-2019 13:28 | By

Well said Scott - I agree with everything you say. That intersection is a right pain and unfortunately, the locals suffer because of the rat runners who think they are more important than the rest of us who have to queue. Let’s hope this road is closed permanently to allow improved traffic flow.

Thinker

Posted on 20-06-2019 12:48 | By

Agree 100%.Should be permanently closed to help reduce backup.

Wairoa Road residents

Posted on 20-06-2019 10:55 | By

I agree traffic appears to be flowing better but most residents from Wairoa Road and surrounding areas are accessing Sh2 by going under the bridge to merge with the traffic, this is the only safe way to get towards Tauranga. Also attempts to turn right are thwarted by traffic from the North never creating a gap to let the cars in. Going under the bridge and merging into the left lane must remain for safety’s sake. Stopping the rat run from further north makes sense though.