Motorists aren't using the controversial T3 lane on Northcote's congested Lake Rd – but Auckland Transport is adamant it's staying put.
It acknowledges that the lane, which requires three people to be in a vehicle, is "under utilised" but says it's not willing to undertake a six-month trial of it as a T2.
Media liaison Mark Hannan says it is required to complement the T3 lane arrangement on adjoining Onewa Rd.
"Given the T3 lane and single general traffic lane arrangement on Onewa Rd, the left turn approach from Lake Rd is required to have the same lane configuration," he says.
Mr Hannan says if the T3 lane was not in place, there would be a significant safety and merging conflict for left-turners immediately upon entering Onewa Rd.
The North Shore Times monitored the number of cars and buses that used the T3 lane during a 15-minute period at peak hour from 6.30am to 9am.
Four cars, two motorbikes and one truck used the lane while the queue of ordinary traffic was backed down the hill.
Eight cars with fewer than three people also used the lane to get into the petrol station on the corner.
The light phasing allowed between seven and 10 cars to turn left on each green arrow.
Mr Hannan says the T3 lane is in place for the purposes of continuity leading into Onewa Rd.
"Also with the limited capacity for general traffic turning left on to Onewa Rd, delays to traffic on Lake Rd will remain similar to that currently being experienced," he says.
Eleven scheduled buses use the lane during the peak hour, four of which are school buses.
The North Shore Times didn't see any buses using the lane all the way to the top but some blocked the lane while trying to get into the right hand lane of queued traffic.
Mr Hannan says this problem has been "noted".
"It requires further investigation to try to improve things," he says.
Auckland Transport is not willing to undertake a six-month trial of a T2 lane.
"Ongoing assessment of traffic operations on Onewa Rd confirm that the current T3 lane arrangement is the most efficient configuration for this part of the road network," he says.
There are no other T3 lanes in the Auckland region although Auckland Transport is about to introduce one on Remuera Rd.
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