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Lane changes on Wakefield Street and new bus lanes

MEDIA RELEASE

4 January 2012

Lane changes on Wakefield Street and new bus lanes

Pedestrian safety in the central city will be further improved as a result of changes at the intersection of Wakefield and Taranaki streets, with work getting underway from today (4 January).

The number of lanes at the intersection, on the northbound one-way section of Wakefield Street, will be increased from four to five, with separate lanes for traffic turning left or right into Taranaki Street.

This means pedestrians walking across either of the two pedestrian crossings on Taranaki Street will have more time before turning vehicles get the green light. Turning vehicles will not hold up traffic going straight ahead onto Jervois Quay or continuing along Wakefield Street which will help the flow of traffic through this intersection. Pedestrians will also not have to wait so long for the lights to change before they can cross.

Space for the extra lane will be made alongside the BP service station. The pohutukawa tree near the BP entrance will be moved further back down Wakefield Street and the traffic island removed with the loss of two parking spaces. New traffic signals on high mast arms will also be installed at the intersection to make the lights more visible.

This work is being done as part of the Council’s SaferRoads project to eliminate traffic black spots around the city, and is expected to take six weeks.

New bus lanes

Several new bus priority lanes will be installed in the central city from Monday 9 January – on Courtenay Place, Cambridge Terrace and Adelaide Road. The bus lanes will provide a more reliable public transport service between the city and southern and eastern suburbs.

Work will start in Courtenay Place and be done at night to minimise disruption. The bus lanes will run almost the length of Courtenay Place on both sides and operate all the time. Cars are allowed on the small section between Taranaki Street and Reading Cinema, except for between 4–6pm weekdays. Several car parks outside Molly Malone’s will be removed to make room for the bus lane on that side.

On Cambridge Terrace the bus lane will run from the Basin Reserve almost to Courtenay Place. It will operate during peak morning hours only (7–9am), which will affect parking spaces between Buckle Street and Fifeshire Avenue. This complements the bus lane already in operation on Kent Terrace from Elizabeth Street to the Basin Reserve.

In early February, bus lanes will also be installed on Adelaide Road. The existing clearways between the Basin Reserve and John Street will be turned into bus lanes, operating at peak times – 7–9am if you’re heading towards the city and 4–6pm southbound towards Newtown.

All the new bus lanes will come into effect as soon as the white lane markings are painted. The green surfacing will be applied progressively in Courtenay Place and along Cambridge Terrace.

The Council’s Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster, says the bus lanes will have minimal impact on general traffic and parking along these routes.

“What’s important here is to enable buses to bypass congestion at peak times. People are much more likely to take the bus if the journey times are predictable and they know the buses will operate on time.”

In the coming months the Council plans to install traffic lights at the existing pedestrian zebra crossings near Allen and Blair streets, which will further improve pedestrian safety.


ends

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