Auckland motorway bus lane abuse should improve from March 21
Relief is in sight for law-abiding motorists who have been watching cars queue jump past them in a bus lane.
The NZ Transport Agency has announced the motorway off-ramp from the city to Te Atatu would be closed and repainted with different lanes overnight on March 20, if the weather is good.
The bus lane currently turned into a normal lane of traffic shortly before a set of traffic lights exiting the Northwestern Motorway at the interchange.
In the evening rush, cars used it to skip the longer queue in a standard traffic lane, preventing buses from getting the advantage they were meant to.
The issue was raised in October 2016 by Te Atatu resident and regular bus commuter Pshem Kowalczyk who posted a video to Twitter.
In December, the agency's Auckland highways manager Brett Gliddon said the lanes would be changed this year to address the problem.
In a press release on March 16 it was announced it would happen overnight on March 20.
Gliddon said traffic flow monitoring showed vehicles were using the bus lanes to shorten their wait.
"This meant buses weren't getting the priority the bus lane was designed to give them," he said.
Gliddon said the new lane markings would have two exit lanes for left-turning traffic and a separate bus lane from March 21 – and should help traffic move more quickly off the motorway.
The upgraded Te Atatu interchange was opened in May 2016 as part of the $2.4 billion Western Ring Route.