Police keen to sort intersection woes

16:00, Dec 21 2012

Invercargill traffic cops want to change a city intersection that has become a flashpoint for driver frustration since the changes to the give-way rule.

Constable Nigel Jack said the Lindisfarne St-Tay St intersection was not coping with the change, which came into force on March 25.

Northbound traffic at the lights at the intersection is divided into two lanes. The left-hand lane is for left turns only. The right-hand lane is for traffic crossing Tay St and for right turns.

Mr Jack said now the give-way rule had changed, a car wanting to turn right had to give way to every car coming south or turning left through the intersection.

Previously, any car turning into Tay St would have had to give way to the right-turning car.

This meant the car held up every driver behind it who wanted to go straight through the intersection.

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"If you get a car in the right-hand lane who wants to turn right, it's got to give way to everybody; cars going straight through and cars turning right," he said.

"People get frustrated at getting held up and [some] are changing to the left-hand lane and going straight through, which is an offence."

The Strategic Traffic Unit wants to change the road markings so traffic in the left-hand lane could go straight through and limiting the right-hand lane to right turns only.

Mr Jack said there had not been crashes at the intersection yet, but changing it would be a preventative measure. The intersections of Lindisfarne St and Yarrow St and Isabella St and Yarrow St had similar issues and it would be good for the public to see police take action, he said.

He was preparing a report for the Invercargill City Council about the issue.

Council senior traffic management officer Eddie Cook said he had not received Mr Jack's report, but it sounded like a sensible and relatively minor change. However, because Tay St was also State Highway 1, any change to the road layout would have to go through the NZ Transport Agency, he said.

The agency's Southland area manager, Peter Robinson, said it would be happy to work with the council to improve safety.

alex.fensome@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times