Wellsford or Waitakere? Motorists blast Waterview's 'stupid' signs

Massey resident Alan Maxwell says the sign "will confuse the hell out of tourists coming from the airport heading to our ...
CALLUM MCGILLIVRAY/STUFF

Massey resident Alan Maxwell says the sign "will confuse the hell out of tourists coming from the airport heading to our beaches".

About 85-kilometres north of Maioro St, in New Windsor, is the town of Wellsford.

But motorists say the signs in the north tunnel of the new Waterview Connection mean they are perceiving Wellsford as being just five kilometres away.

Some west Aucklanders have described them as "confusing" and "stupid".

It's been suggested the signs directing people out west should be changed from Wellsford to Waitakere City.
CALLUM MCGILLIVRAY/STUFF

It's been suggested the signs directing people out west should be changed from Wellsford to Waitakere City.

Massey's Alan Maxwell said the signs "will confuse the hell out of tourists coming from the airport heading to our beaches".

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It's been suggested the signs should be changed from Wellsford to Waitakere.

The Waterview Connection after the tunnel opened in July.
JASON DORDAY/STUFF

The Waterview Connection after the tunnel opened in July.

NZ Transport Agency's Brett Gliddon said the signs which have a distance on them, such as 5km, indicate that in 5km there will be a decision point on the motorway.  And then the route will take you to the final destination of Wellsford.

He said the new Western Ring Route logo and signs are designed to give motorists consistent information about the general direction they are travelling in.

"They are designed to help people who are less familiar with the route."

The $1.4 billion Waterview Tunnel opened on July 2.
CALLUM MCGILLIVRAY/STUFF

The $1.4 billion Waterview Tunnel opened on July 2.

Other than the confusing signs, Titirangi resident Julz Lee said "riding through the tunnel was a blast".

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A recent Neighbourly poll revealed out of 150 west Aucklanders, 53 per cent had been through the Waterview Tunnel since it opened on July 2.

The common journeys being made through the tunnel were from west Auckland to south Auckland, to the airport or heading into the city.

Massey resident Maxwell's daily commute from Massey to Onehunga had gone from a one-hour journey to 20 minutes.

Wood Bay's Michael Donaldson said he made it to Greenlane in 22 minutes.

"And it takes me a good 7-to-8 minutes just to get to the Blockhouse Bay roundabout."

And Massey's Sharon Hodge asked "where has all the traffic gone?", when her drive to work from Royal Rd to Dominion Rd took only 15 minutes.

Gliddon said the Waterview Connection had not only reduced travel times into the city from the Northwestern and Southern motorways by up to 20 minutes, it was also easing congestion on local roads.

In the last week, busy routes through New Lynn and along Great North Rd, Carrington Rd and Mt Albert roads had all been reported as saving commuters about five minutes in travel time, NZTA said.

While the tunnel was described by west Aucklanders as an "awesome achievement" and an "engineering feat", many were still holding their breath until the universities and schools returned from break.

West Aucklander Mata Mataio said, "let's see then how well the tunnel copes with the Auckland traffic".

 - Stuff

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