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Roadworks To Improve Traffic Flow In Papatoetoe


Roadworks To Improve Traffic Flow In Old Papatoetoe

The road works being carried out at the corner of Shirley Road/St George Street and Station Road in Old Papatoetoe will make the area safer and help traffic flow better, Manukau City Council says.

City Manager Colin Dale says major road works and other construction projects always have an impact on nearby communities, including shops. "It is unavoidable but temporary."

The project has a number of aims and some of the changes have been requested by the public in the past. The works are part of an urban renewal project that will see new life injected into Old Papatoetoe.

Old Papatoetoe is one of the "nodes" or suburban community centres which are being upgraded and revitalized by the council to make them more attractive and lively. Apartments are being built and the area will have a much bigger population.

Colin Dale says, "We're kicking off the urgently-needed investment by upgrading the area surrounding the Papatoetoe railway station, creating a transport hub, and improving paving and roading. When businesses see we're serious about this project, we believe they'll respond with investment of their own to improve the whole tone of the area."

The road works, which include improvements to the top of Shirley Road opposite the railway station, will divert a lot of traffic away from St George Street.

"The changes are complex and the job is necessarily time-consuming," Mr Dale says. "Any kind of road works is disruptive to traffic flows during construction but we've also had delays due to rain, and to late delivery of some of the traffic engineering equipment.

"But the result will be a much improved entrance to the shopping precinct and more options for drivers who don't want to go through the St George Street shopping area.

"For example, vehicles can now turn right from Station Road directly into Tavern Lane, which they couldn't before, and reach New World quicker. The Shirley Road upgrade will take away a lot of traffic from St George Street onto a faster route to Hunter's Corner and Great South Road.

"Pedestrian safety is a big factor in planning the changes. There were too many pedestrians hit by cars along the shopping precinct in recent years, and that should now reduce with fewer cars and slower-moving traffic.

"Under the old lane layout, the merging of traffic from two lanes into one along St George Street was clumsy, but it isn't now.

"We are planning to make the entrance to St George Street a gateway to the shopping area. The look will be softened from what it was before, with landscaping and more space for pedestrians."

The road works and pavement improvement along the top of Shirley Road have also been commented on in the media. Colin Dale says the Council regrets the inconvenience to affected retailers but the work on the intersection should be completed by the end of next week, with the overall project competed by October, assuming no weather delays.

"The works will greatly improve the area as it accompanies the recent upgrade of the neighbouring railway station. I accept that some retailers have been negatively affected although cars have still been able to stop outside the Shirley Road shops, including the dairy.

"The footpath needed widening to handle the extra foot traffic we are expecting and to make it more pedestrian-friendly. Unfortunately, bad weather has also caused delays in that work.

"But a lot more people will be using the station now, so better parking and drop-off facilities were definitely needed. The planned new walkway will bring the station entrance closer to St George St as well as continue to link Shirley Rd with Station Rd.

"The project has created a highly attractive environment for bus and train passengers, as well as drivers, and will bring many more customers past the shops both day and night.

"I would urge people to keep in mind the final outcome of this project.

"I note that comment has been made about the effect on the businesses of disruption last year when a cable was being laid, but that work was carried out by the power company Vector, not by the Council."

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