Every weekday afternoon the scenario is the same at the Parkers Rd intersection in Tahunanui.
A driver wanting to turn right onto Annesbrook Dr and head towards Stoke and Richmond will edge up to the corner and wait for the coast to be clear. And they will continue waiting.
The traffic will bank up behind them, trucks, cars and all manner of motorists. But they won’t realise there is a merging lane which allows them to go right ahead.
“Sometimes it can get pretty confused,” says deputy mayor Paul Matheson.
Add to that the ever-increasing number of heavy trucks using that road to access the port and it becomes a thornier issue.
The intersection has long been on council and NZTA’s radar but Matheson plans on raising it again as concerns rise over the congestion which the area has experienced as it’s become increasingly industrialised.
NZTA’s latest stats show that the area has also had a small increase in traffic due to the Kaikoura earthquakes. A spokesperson says according to NZTA research there has not been any increase in turning traffic over the last few years.
However, Paul says the nature of the area has changed.
“We have had discussions over a period of time about putting lights in there,” says Paul. “The trouble is the mixture of traffic has changed. Now we have far more industrial traffic.”
Paul says he is going to raise the issue at this month’s regional transport committee.
“It’s probably one we need to brush over again.”
John Gilbertson of the Tahunanui Business Association agrees.
“A lot heavier purpose trucks are using those roads and it gets difficult with those trucks exiting Parkers Rd at times.”
John says it’s high time the current situation is reviewed as it has become a safety issue. He says putting traffic lights in at Parkers Rd would also provide a useful crossing point for cyclists and school children from Stoke wanting to get on the right side of the road.
“I don’t know where they are at with it but I do think it needs to be brought forward,” John says.