Southern Motorway on-ramp is a lemon

Readers of The Star and starnews.co.nz have responded to our recent article about the Southern Motorway on-ramp near busy Halswell Junction Rd.

And, I totally agree with them. The on-ramp is a shocker; poorly designed and a bad crash waiting to happen.

The on-ramp is part of a $195 million roading hub on the new Southern Motorway. But clearly something has gone wrong in the design stage.

The Star exposed the problem two weeks ago. The New Zealand Transport Agency would only concede when we questioned them there was an "issue".

I’ve tested the on-ramp several times. It’s clearly more than an “issue” and readers agree.

The problem is there is simply not enough road for motorists who turn right into the major traffic hub at Halswell Junction Rd from the Prebbleton side of Springs Rd to get across into the left lane and access the on-ramp.

The Southern Motorway on-ramp. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The Southern Motorway on-ramp. Photo: Geoff Sloan
There is only 200m from when you get around the roundabout from the Prebbleton direction to get onto the on-ramp.

If there’s too much traffic on the left lane and drivers won’t let you in, you will miss the on-ramp and head towards Halswell instead of the city.

So motorists are having to take chances to get across lanes, and many are doing that halfway through the roundabout - a dangerous tactic.

On a recent Sunday morning in light traffic I came off the Halswell Junction Rd bridge from Prebbleton, turned right and headed left to get to the on-ramp. The driver of a van in front of me realised almost too late she needed to get into the left lane also to access the on-ramp - otherwise she was going to miss it and keep going towards Halswell.

She braked, pulled hard to the left, causing me to put on the anchors, which in turn impacted the vehicle behind me. We all got through unscathed, but only just. Luckily the driver behind me was alert.

I’ve tried it also in heavy traffic, where you rely on the driver behind you to let you in. If cars are turning left from the Sockburn side of Springs Rd in peak hour traffic then you have an even bigger problem getting across.

To sum it up - the design is a lemon.

barry@starmedia.kiwi

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

 

 

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