Metered lights have improved safety and efficiency at Paremata roundabout on SH1

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The introduction of metered lights at the Paremata roundabout has resulted in improved overall journey times and a safer experience without significantly affecting northbound road users, according to data from the NZ Transport Agency.

The State Highway 1 lights, installed just south of the roundabout, stagger the flow of northbound traffic, and allow southbound and Paremata train station Park & Ride users to safely and easily enter the roundabout during peak periods. While the signals operate between 4pm and 6.15pm weekdays, they are only triggered once southbound or Park & Ride queues reach a certain length.

Prior to the installation, lengthy evening delays for southbound traffic were common due to a constant flow of northbound traffic turning right from SH1 towards SH58, which also caused safety concerns for vehicles exiting the Paremata Park & Ride.

Since the signals were activated on 1 July, the NZTA’s monitoring shows:

  • Travel times have significantly improved for southbound traffic heading through the roundabout, with approximately 1860 vehicles during the 4pm to 6pm evening peak experiencing an average five-minute reduction in journey times

  • Drivers from other directions, including approximately 2330 vehicles travelling northbound on SH1 and 1360 vehicles travelling west onto SH58 between 4pm and 6pm have not been significantly affected – with a negligible increase in journey times

  • The smoother operation of the roundabout has improved safety for all users

  • There has been no noticeable increase in ‘rat-running’ along local roads to avoid the SH1 lights.

“During peak hours, around half of the northbound and westbound traffic doesn’t have to stop at all and the other half of vehicles are only being delayed by up to one minute,” Owen says.

“We’ve also had positive feedback from the Paremata Park & Ride users. They now feel much safer and confident exiting the car park, which we’ve also noticed from our real time monitoring.”

Because the system is running so well for Park & Ride users, the NZTA has extended the operating period to cover the train arriving at 6.15pm when there is high demand to exit onto the roundabout.