Fight to open motorway on-ramp

JESSICA TASMAN-JONES
Last updated 09:07 16/05/2012
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Auckland Council is supporting central city residents who want a motorway on-ramp reopened to ease suburban traffic congestion.

Yesterday Herne Bay residents told the council's transport committee their concerns about the closure of the Wellington St on-ramp, and asked for it to be re-opened.

They said traffic was building up in their area as drivers went through Ponsonby, Freeman's Bay and Jervois Rd to use on-ramps in St Mary's Bay instead.

Transport committee deputy chairman Christine Fletcher says a resolution was passed at the meeting urging the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) - the national body which oversees motorways - to reopen the on-ramp.

She said a commitment had been made when the on-ramp was closed as part of the Victoria Park Tunnel upgrade that it would be reopened and that should be followed through.

The committee doesn't have the power to direct NZTA what to do.

The Wellington St on-ramp used to be one of the main feeder points for the motorway and the 7000 cars that used it daily are now using the Curran St and Fanshawe St on-ramps instead.

The residents' association says since the closure about a year ago traffic has increased dramatically through the already busy Ponsonby, Jervois and Franklin roads.

Association president Carlie Eve has said congested suburban streets go against Mayor Len Brown's vision to create the world's most liveable city.

"Since the closure of the Wellington St on-ramp, for example, Curran, Tweed, Emmett and Sarsfield streets, as well as Jervois and Hamilton roads along with many others, have suffered from increasing volumes of traffic - including heavy vehicles and buses causing a significant loss of 'liveability'.  

"This has increased the risk to children by limiting access to homes, and there are the associated impacts of noise and pollution."

A review on the future of the on-ramp is currently set for the end of July when it will go out for public consultation.

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