Lower speeds to stay on alternative highway until State Highway 1 reopens

Temporary speed reductions on the alternative highway will remain in place until SH1 is repaired. (file photo)
 Speed reductions on sections of the alternative route between Christchurch and Picton will remain in place until State Highway 1 is repaired.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on Monday confirmed the temporary speed reductions, which were introduced after the SH6/63/65/7 route became the top of the South Island’s main trunk line following last November’s earthquake.

The changes were made because the alternative route is much more challenging to drive than the road it replaces, and traffic on the route has increased dramatically.

There has been a huge increase in heavy traffic on the alternate highway since the November earthquake.

There has been a huge increase in heavy traffic on the alternate highway since the November earthquake.
 There have been five deaths on the road since the earthquake. The change in conditions has caused several longhaul truck drivers to quit, while one truck company has reduced speed limits for drivers.

The NZTA received nearly 300 submissions on the speed reduction proposal. The majority were in favour of lower speeds through townships on the route, but less positive about those sections of open road that had been reduced to 80kmh.

Though submissions supported lower speeds through townships, they were less positive about speed reductions on stretches ...

Though submissions supported lower speeds through townships, they were less positive about speed reductions on stretches of open road. (File photo)
 In a statement, NZTA regional relationships director Jim Harland said there was not high support for lower speeds at all sites, but reverting to pre-quake speeds would be irresponsible.

“However, once SH1 becomes fully operational and traffic volumes have reduced to a stable level we will review speed limits on the alternate route again. Ideally this would be within six months of SH1 reopening, but it will depend on traffic volumes.”

Harland said the submissions raised concerns about travel times and limited passing opportunities.

The alternative route will be the South Island's main road until SH1 is repaired, which is expected to be before Christmas.

The alternative route will be the South Island’s main road until SH1 is repaired, which is expected to be before Christmas.
 “To date $1.5 million has been invested in slow vehicle bays and pull-over areas on the alternate route, and work is underway now to construct 20 more of these areas. However, in light of feedback, the Transport Agency will investigate whether more slow vehicle bays and pull-over areas could be built.”

He said the perception the lower speed limits had significantly increased travel time was incorrect, with the lower limits increasing travel time by less than two minutes between Christchurch and Picton.

The temporary limits were introduced under emergency legislation, which can only be in place for six months legally. A new bylaw replacing the temporary limits will be in place by June 18.

SH1 is expected to be reopened before Christmas.

Consultation also included proposals to lower speed limits on parts of the Lower Buller Gorge. These received low support, so will not be taken further.

 – Stuff

Minister announces transport sector board appointments

26 April 2017

Media Statement

Minister announces transport sector board appointments

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has today announced appointments and reappointments to the Boards of Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Mr Bridges has reappointed Peter Cowper to the Board of MNZ. He has been a member since May 2011.

“Mr Cowper’s reappointment will provide Board continuity, as he continues to contribute his extensive commercial and leadership skills,” Mr Bridges says.

MNZ is a Crown entity whose primary function is to ensure the safety, security and environmental protection of New Zealand’s coastal and inland waterways. Its Board has five members.

Mr Bridges has also appointed two new members to the Board of the NZTA – former Mayor of Queenstown, Vanessa van Uden and professional director Mark Darrow.

“Ms van Uden brings a new perspective, along with her local government experience.

“Mr Darrow has wide-ranging governance experience, and Chairs the Audit and Risk Committee for the Counties Manukau District Health Board. His appointment brings extensive transport knowledge and an injection of fresh energy to the NZTA’s Board,” Mr Bridges says.

In addition, Mr Bridges has reappointed Adrienne Young-Cooper who has been a member of the NZTA Board since August 2011, and is a member of its Investment and Operations Committee. Ms Young-Cooper’s reappointment provides continuity, as well as strong governance.

NZTA is a Crown entity whose primary role is to contribute to an effective, efficient, and safe land transport system in the public interest. Its Board has eight members.

Mr Bridges has appointed experienced lawyer, Anna Adams and reappointed Grant Lilly, to the Board of the CAA.

“Ms Adams brings experience in public law and regulatory systems. She is also the Board Chair of law firm, Meredith Connell. Her appointment will provide a new perspective for the CAA,” Mr Bridges says.

Mr Lilly has a strong aviation background after 40 years’ experience in the aviation sector. His reappointment will provide continuity to the Board. He has been on the CAA Board since 2011.

The CAA is a Crown entity whose primary function is to regulate and promote an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable civil aviation system. The CAA Board has five members.
Peter Cowper

Mr Cowper has extensive leadership experience with large and complex technical organisations and environments. He brings substantial experience in defining and managing complex change, consulting, strategic insight, risk management, ICT and telecommunications knowledge, procurement skills and commercial knowledge.

Vanessa van Uden

Ms van Uden has been Mayor and Councillor of Queenstown, a rapidly growing area of New Zealand. She has worked in governance, accounting and contract management. She has recent first-hand experience of local government roles in transport. Ms van Uden splits her time between Queenstown and Wellington.

Mark Darrow

Mr Darrow has a wealth of governance experience, as he is currently Chair of multiple entities and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for a District Health Board. He has transport sector experience with the Motor Trade Association, Dekra New Zealand, Courier Solutions and Armstrong Motor Group. Mr Darrow is Auckland based.

Adrienne Young-Cooper

Ms Young-Cooper is a senior and experienced Board member, having been on the NZTA Board since August 2011, and is a member of its Investment and Operations Committee. With her background in urban planning and as a company director, Ms Young-Cooper makes informed contributions. Given her previous experience as a Board member of Maritime New Zealand, she has a strong transport background. Ms Young-Cooper is Auckland based.

Anna Adams

Ms Adams is a practicing lawyer and Board Chair of law firm, Meredith Connell. She has been with Meredith Connell since 2003 and a partner since 2008. Her main experience has been in public law, health law, regulatory systems and litigation.

Ms Adams also has a background in public sector policy and managing legal risk. She brings an analytical approach to managing issues and good communication and relationship skills.

Grant Lilly

Mr Lilly has governance experience from a number of director roles in the aviation sector including Queenstown Airport Corporation Limited, Jetconnect Limited, Jetstar Airways Limited, Air Nelson Limited and Eagle Airways Limited. He was a member of the Board of Airline Representatives from 2006 to 2011, and a board member of the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust from 2008 to 2011.

East West Link transport project to be considered

15 February 2017 | AUCKLAND & NORTHLAND

East West Link transport project to be considered by Board of Inquiry

The NZ Transport Agency has welcomed a Ministerial decision to refer its application for designation and resource consents for the East West Link project to a Board of Inquiry.

The Transport Agency lodged its application with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in December 2016. The EPA reviewed the application and recommended that it be treated as a matter of national significance that should be referred to the Board of Inquiry.

The Transport Agency’s Auckland Highway Manager, Brett Gliddon says the Board of Inquiry will give the public and stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on what is proposed, while also providing industry with more certainty on the timeframes for the delivery of the project.

“The East West Link will be a vital connection in the transport network that keeps Auckland moving. Its location is at the heart of the country’s industrial and manufacturing industries. It also plays a crucial role in the economic growth of all New Zealand,” says Brett Gliddon.

The project will build a new four lane road between the Neilson Street Interchange at State Highway 20 and the Mt Wellington Interchange on State Highway 1, and widen State Highway 1 between Mt Wellington and Princes Street. It will also create new and improved connections to local roads in Onehunga and Penrose, relieving the current congestion experienced across the day on Neilson Street. It will also create a seamless walking and cycling path from Onehunga to Sylvia Park.

It’s hoped construction can start in 2018.

“We’re confident the Board of Inquiry process will ensure the Transport Agency’s application is thoroughly tested, that the process is transparent and the community and stakeholders are given full opportunity to make submissions and have their views heard.”

The Transport Agency has been working with Auckland Transport and the community since 2013 to develop the design and plans for the East West Link. There will be opportunities for ongoing design work and engagement with the community during the next stages of the project.

Details on how people can make submissions and get involved in the Board of Inquiry process are available on the EPA website: http://www.epa.govt.nz/Resource-management/.

The Transport Agency will be holding information days to give people more information on the project and the technical reports that have been lodged. These will be held at:

Monday 27 February, 5.30pm

Otahuhu Library, 28-30 Mason Avenue, Otahuhu

Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 March

Onehunga Community Centre, 83 Church Street, Onehunga

The Transport Agency has published details of its application and supporting documents on its website and encourages people to look at them and ensure they’re fully informed. The documents and more information about the project can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/ewl-epa.



National Road Carriers (NRC) chief executive David Aitken has praised the traffic improvements being delivered through Onehunga by the East West Link project, noting members have welcomed the Neilson Street Bridge demolition and lower replacement road.

“These changes have improved the sight lines for freight drivers and given them extra space for safe turning,” he says.

“The connection between Neilson Street and Onehunga Wharf Road is now working much more efficiently with our members currently noticing better traffic flows.

“The NRC is committed to keeping New Zealand moving and this new lowered road is making it easier for freight and other heavy vehicles to travel through this important freight hub.”

It is understood drivers of heavy vehicles are also appreciative that they are no longer required to stop for the light changes on the steep gradient that was a feature of the over bridge.

Recently commenced by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the $1.25 billion to $1.85 billion East West Link project will ultimately provide a four-lane road connecting State Highway 20 at Onehunga to State Highway 1 at Mount Wellington.

“This will make it far more efficient and reliable for freight to move through this important industrial and manufacturing area.

“It’s great to see both the NZTA and Auckland Transport aren’t waiting until construction on the wider project gets underway and is getting on with creating early gains and improvements in the area.”