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Road closures doubling commute times

June 12, 2019

Road closures doubling commute times

Elstree Ave in Glen Innes, which has been reduced to one-way, is partly causing the build-up of traffic in the town centre. PHOTO: Google Maps

Road closures in central east Auckland are causing problems for residents and commuters.

Wastewater upgrades in Glen Innes mean drivers are having to travel through the traffic-clogged town centre which is doubling their normal commute times.

Ashley Hingston-Daniels, a Glendowie resident who works in Glen Innes, said she supported the work but was “incredibly frustrated” with the communication of the upgrades and the traffic as a result.

“I support the Watercare work that needs to be done, however the communication with surrounding areas of the reduction of Elstree Ave to one way was never given… there must be an alternative way to manage the traffic and congestion that comes with it.”

It now takes her an hour to get home while it used to take her 30 to 45mins.

“My office is located in East Tamaki and finishing at 5pm usually meant I could be home to my children by 5.30pm or 5.45pm at the latest … But now I don’t get home till after 6pm every night.”

Elstree Ave was a popular road for commuters to bypass the Glen Innes town centre and head to the Eastern Bay suburbs, but the road has been reduced to one-way heading south.

Ms Hingston-Daniels used to drive down this road but now is forced to detour and contend with other traffic in the town centre.

She said some drivers had taken to driving illegally the wrong way down Elstree Ave to avoid these delays.

“I hadn't actually seen anybody go the wrong way through the one-way street until Wednesday night, and this driver sped through.

“There were about five of us (sic) vehicles at the roundabout and they shot straight into the roundabout as if to take priority over anyone else. They were obviously in the wrong and needed to get out of the way but nearly hit a car who was entering Elstree and had to brake suddenly.”

Other locals posting on community website Neighbourly report they have also seen people drive the wrong way along Elstree Ave.

Simon O’Connor, the National MP for Tamaki, said he has raised the congestion issues with various agencies and was calling for a review.

“I would also think, with such a major disruption that a review is needed to see if some better means exists to direct traffic around GI rather than being caught up attempting to go through the disruption.”

He said he hopes some changes will be made to reduce the issue such as changing the traffic flow direction of the single Elstree Ave lane according to rush hour demands.

“It is my hope that some accommodations can be found to allow better flow of traffic while also allowing the works to continue.”

Watercare project manager Bryan Jackson said: “We understand motorists’ frustration with the traffic congestion and apologise for the inconvenience. We are aiming to do this essential work as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible."

The roadworks include putting in a major new wastewater pipeline which will also act as a storage tunnel, and replacing a wastewater pump station in Maybury Reserve.

Affected roads include Taniwha St and Elstree Ave amongst others and the congestion is expected to continue until the road works finish in June 2020.

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