Barkes Corner lights to improve traffic flow

A mock picture of the traffic lights on Pyes Pa Road. These lights will help ease queues during the morning peak.

The traffic lights being installed on SH29A Barkes Corner roundabout to improve peak traffic flow will be switched on from Monday.

The NZ Transport Agency is working with Tauranga City Council to install the lights on the Pyes Pa Road and the SH29A westbound approaches to the roundabout.

The lights will be queue activated – a system called roundabout metering.

The Agency’s Bay of Plenty Transport System Manager Rob Campbell says the lights are designed for roundabouts where one road is busier than the others leading into the intersection, dominating the flow into the roundabout and causing delays on the other roads.

“The Pyes Pa Road approach to the roundabout is busier than the other roads in the morning peak, so the traffic lights on the SH29A westbound approach will hold back traffic to allow Pyes Pa Road traffic through.

“Similarly, the traffic lights on Pyes Pa Road will be phased to improve the flow for eastbound traffic on SH29A from Tauriko during the weekday evening peak.”

The roundabout traffic lights will be on 24/7 and will be approximately 30m before the give way signs.

“Most of the time the traffic lights will be green, except when high traffic queues on one leg activate them, then the traffic lights will turn red to stop the vehicles, allowing traffic from the busiest road to enter the roundabout. The red phase is short and will turn green before another large queue is created.”

Standard give way rules will still apply when entering the roundabout – even when the traffic lights are green.

The traffic lights do not mean that the roundabout is signalised like the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts.

Rob says the lights are designed to improve the traffic flow around the roundabout for all drivers, not just the ones on the busiest roads. Their performance will be monitored and changes made if necessary.

Roundabout metering will also be installed on SH2 Takitimu Drive and Elizabeth Street roundabout, with traffic lights on the SH2 northbound approach to the roundabout. These will be operational in the coming months.

The work is part of a wider programme being implemented across the region to improve safety and journey times.


Let the games begin

Posted on 14-09-2018 07:37 | By Slim Shady

So you lights just before the roundabout, then normal give way applies! A few problems with this for Kiwi drivers - traffic is not flowing because some people think you have to stop at roundabouts (bad drivers) even if it is clear, then you have those that will think the green light means they can trundle through the roundabout even if it is not clear (bad drivers). Then you have the usual Kiwi attitude to lights. Ignore red and go through. This set up is just begging for them to ignore the red lights. So basically it’s just a roundabout with some expensive lights, to be ignored, that won’t improve flow, but will lead to confusion (for bad drivers), and more crashes. Good work.

Who thought up this little gem?

Posted on 13-09-2018 20:06 | By RJP

Safer roads??, This is a real clever way to confuse motorists A set of traffic lights that are not really traffic lights, Grab some popcorn, sit at the intersection and watch the fender bending

Wait & See!!

Posted on 13-09-2018 13:37 | By Road Ranger

Hopefully this will fix some of the problems but will it stop the inconsiderate motorists driving down the cycle lane and in some cases the centre medium strip and footpath. This section of road needs to be monitored by the Police in the morning rush hour.


Posted on 13-09-2018 12:30 | By Told you

How come Road rules apply at controlled lights this will cause confusion.

Barkes Cr lights

Posted on 13-09-2018 11:57 | By tia

Well here they go again. Is this going to be another messup? These roading authorities don’t have a very good record of road management do they. First of all a million $$$ botch-up at the Hairini interchange with cyclists, then the relocation of the pedestrian crossing in at the Greerton Village and now these lights. What is the next gem they will be thinking up?

Save some Power

Posted on 13-09-2018 11:44 | By NJB

Theoretically this sounds like a great idea. However, in the interest of power conservation, why not simply switch the lights off all together during non-peak traffic times? The sensors can still detect a build up of traffic, at which time the lights come on & "do-their-thing"

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