Investigation called into intersection safety

Work is being carried out at this Pakuranga intersection as part of the Eastern Busway project. Times photo Wayne Martin

An investigation has been requested into the traffic management of a busy east Auckland intersection following a crash that saw a vehicle end up on its roof.

The Howick Local Board voted at its May business meeting to ask Auckland Transport (AT) to look into the controls put in place at the intersection of Ti Rakau Drive and Pakuranga Road and report back.

Work is being carried out in the area as part of the ongoing Eastern Busway public transport project.

Board member David Collings put forward the successful motion.

It includes the board raise concerns the traffic management controls for the intersection were inadequate, as it previously noted at its April business meeting.

The motion also calls for the board to ensure there will be no further undue risk to the safety of residents during the busway project and other large-scale transport works in the board’s area in future.

Collings told his board colleagues the actions AT had taken since he raised the issue in April were “very good”, but there “needs to be some investigation about how we got into that position”.

“I don’t know if I didn’t raise it on the night [in April] if anything would have been done immediately.

“I think the next day the dotted line turning into Pakuranga Road was put in place.

“That day I came through there was nothing in place.”

Collings described the layout of the intersection, which has since been changed, as a “dog’s breakfast”.

Board chairperson Adele White said she recently attended an update on the Eastern Busway.

The project is “on target and doing well”, she said.

“However, it’s almost a moving feast.

“The changes are going to be almost daily and not necessarily because of the road works.

“It’s because of all the other services that have to be shifted.

“So you’ll find that one day the busway will be in both directions and the next day those hit sticks will be moved to assist with that. Safety does have to be paramount.”

Collings’ motion follows a request he made to AT elected member relationship manager Bruce Thomas at the board’s April business meeting.

Collings said then that while driving earlier that day he had turned right from Ti Rakau Drive into Pakuranga Road and three lanes had merged into two, which was causing problems for motorists.

Several days after he raised the issue a vehicle ended up on its roof at the intersection.

Police say no injuries were reported in the incident and the crash is still being investigated.

AT spokesperson Natalie Polley said at the time the issue at the intersection stemmed from a lane reduction of three lanes from Ti Rakau Drive into two lanes in Pakuranga Road.

“With speeding vehicles either running changing lights, or speeding through the intersection, making an evasive manoeuvre and sliding out of control, particularly in wet conditions.”

She said AT would look to implement additional solutions in future, including installing ski-resistant surfacing.”

“Six months after construction the AT road safety team will monitor the intersection to assess whether or not further works are required.”