Auckland gridlock 'worst'

Relief still years away say officials

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 09:29 08/03/2013
Spaghetti Junction, Auckland
NZTA
CHAOS: Spaghetti Junction on the Auckland motorway.

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The gridlock on the roads that brought much of Auckland to a standstill yesterday has been described as the worst ever.

A van crashed into the back of a truck in the southbound fast lane on the Southern Motorway around 3:50pm, resulting in bumper-to-bumper traffic until around 7pm.

Fire engines and ambulances attended as a man was trapped in one of the vehicles.

The accident happened between Mountain Rd and Market Rd and has caused major congestion with traffic backed up through Spaghetti Junction - one of the country's most congested motorway junctions.

Transport Agency spokesman Ewart Barnsley said relief was on the horizon for commuters in the form of an alternate motorway route currently under construction, but that was still two to three years away.

Barnsley said he understood drivers were not happy.

“Understandably they were pretty frustrated at the hold up. We did our very best to keep them informed, we were diverting as much traffic as we could off the motorways onto local roads.”

Journeys that normally took 15 minutes were taking over an hour.

During the jam traffic on both the Northern and the North Western was at a standstill, while Queen Street, Ponsonby Road, Symond Street and Karangahape Road was barely moving.

One motorist reported an hour and a half drive from the High Court in the city to K’Road – a trip that usually takes about 10 minutes. A bus trip along Ponsonby Road took an hour. 

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