Auckland Transport

Great North Road and Bullock Track - intersection improvements

Consultation status: closed 17 October 2016

AT recently asked for feedback on a proposal to make some improvements at the Great North Road and Bullock Track intersection to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. 

We propose:

  • Installing signalised pedestrian crossings, kerb build-outs and pram crossings at the Great North Road, Bullock Track and Tuarangi Road intersection.
  • Removing the right-turn movement from Tuarangi Road onto Great North Road (all other traffic movements will remain).
  • Moving the bus stop from the western side of Great North Road and Tuarangi Road to the eastern side of the intersection. 
  • Redesigning and painting the lane layout on Great North Road
  • Upgrading the footpath to be a shared path (used by pedestrians and cyclists) on both sides of Great North Road - from Stadium Road to Bullock Track. 
  • Installing pedestrian 'zebra' crossings on each slip lane of the North-Western Motorway and a raised pedestrian crossing on the slip lane of Stadium Road.

We have observed a large number of crashes due to unsafe right turns from Bullock Track onto Great North Road. This proposal aims to improve the safety of all road users by providing:

  • A shared path for cyclists and pedestrians to safely travel away from traffic along this section of Great North Road. 
  • Designated crossing points for pedestrians to cross the road safely.
  • A signalised intersection, making it safer for drivers turning onto Great North Road.

View the Great North Road and Bullock Track intersection plan (PDF 5MB)

Feedback results

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, the proposal will proceed with the following changes:

  • Addition of advance stop boxes for cyclists on Bullock Track and on Great North Road.
  • Retaining existing traffic islands on Bullock Track.
  • New cycle ramps on Great North Road for cyclists to access the shared paths.
  • Reshaping the kerb at the north eastern corner (Great North Road/Bullock Track) of the intersection.
  • New traffic lane layout for eastbound traffic approaching the Bullock Track/Great North Road intersection to provide space for merging eastbound vehicles.

Next steps

The proposal will now proceed to the next stage of detailed planning.

We expect construction to be completed by end of June 2017, subject to any further changes in design or funding issues.

Contractors will issue 48-hour notice to all affected residents prior to construction work.

Update - April 2017

We are currently working on the detailed planning of this proposal and expect to start construction in late April or early May (subject to weather conditions). At this stage, all proposed changes at the Bullock Track, Great North Road and Tuarangi Road intersection will go ahead, along with the shared paths along Great North Road.

The proposed changes at the slip lanes of Stadium Road and the North-western motorway has been postponed due to funding constraints. We expect to reprioritise this aspect of the proposal for the next financial year.

We will keep residents and stakeholders updated about the status of this proposal.

Feedback received

Cycling facilities

Cyclists would prefer on-road cycle lanes

The objective of this proposal is to improve the safety of the intersection at Great North Road and Bullock Track, and at the same time improve the connectivity for other vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers as much as possible.

Due to the capacity of Great North Road and congestion, it is not possible to include an on-road designated cycle lane within the road reserve at this time.

We will prioritise an investigation on more holistic and permanent solutions to improve cycle facilities along Great North Road in the 2018/2021 cycle programme funding period.

A shared path is therefore proposed to provide cyclists a safe route along Great North Road between Bullock Track and Stadium Road.

Shared paths don’t connect to other paths

In the west, the proposed shared path will connect with the existing path in front of MOTAT.

There is also proposed plan to connect the shared footpath from this intersection to the existing north-western motorway connection.

This work is currently under investigation and it is programmed for consultation in the coming months. We are currently looking at the connection towards the Grey Lynn shops for the 2018-2021 cycle programme funding period.

Include advance stop boxes

We have revised the design and have included advance stop boxes on all legs of the intersection.

Kerb build-out at Bullock Track is a pinch-point for cyclists

We have reviewed the option of reducing the size of the kerb buildout at Bullock Track to allow cyclists to go straight from the left turn lane.

However, it is not possible to change it as it will provide the required space for the signal poles, the crossing across Bullock Track and pram crossings.

The shared path and crossing will provide a safe place for cyclists to cross Bullock Track.

Unsafe to mix pedestrians and cyclists on the shared path

The proposed shared path has a minimum width of 3 metres to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists safely, and it will be adequately signed to ensure all users are aware of the shared nature of the path.

Pedestrian facilities

Pedestrian path is not safe at the motorway on-ramp slip lane

The proposed zebra crossing on the motorway on-ramp slip lane is expected to be delivered as part of this proposal. It will improve pedestrian safety at this point.

Move the eastern pedestrian crossing further away

The pedestrian crossing across Great North Road has been proposed in a safe place to ensure adequate visibility for pedestrians and drivers, and to provide good connection for bus passengers.

Raise the pedestrian crossings at the motorway on/off ramp slip lanes

NZTA are the road control authority for motorways and on/off ramps. We have discussed with NZTA the option of raising the pedestrian crossings however it is considered to be inappropriate at the motorway slip lanes as speed tables are not normally recommended on arterial roads.

The proposed zebra crossings at the motorway slip lanes will legally require motorists to give way to pedestrians at all times. As part of the proposal, we will also re-align the slip lane on the motorway off-ramp to reduce vehicle speeds coming off the motorway and improve pedestrian safety.

Additional safety enhance measures will be incorporated into the design to encourage slower approaching speeds.

Provide pedestrian crossing on all four legs of the intersection

Due to limited capacity at the intersection, it is not possible to provide pedestrian crossing on all four legs of intersection

Tuarangi Road

Banning the right-hand turn will increase congestion on Tuarangi Road and neighbouring roads

We carried out an extensive network traffic modelling to assess the impact of the proposed new traffic lights to the operation of the wider network in the Grey Lynn area. We also considered what changes might be necessary to maintain optimum traffic flow in the area.

Results from traffic modelling show that retaining the right-hand turn from Tuarangi Road would create additional congestion and delays on Great North Road as well as create queues on the north-western motorway. This is because a separated traffic phasing has to be provided for Tuarangi Road to facilitate the right turning, which consequently would allow less time for Great North Road traffic.

Any potential queuing on motorway off ramp is considered to be undesirable as it would significantly increase the chances of having high-speed rear end crashes.

Therefore it is essential to remove the right-hand turn out of Tuarangi Road to keep the motorway and Great North Road clear as much as possible.

Vehicles are able to use the Williamson Ave and Great North Road intersection to go into the city centre. We will monitor and optimise the operation of this intersection and make any necessary adjustments to the traffic light phasing to optimise traffic flow.

Ban right-turn at peak times only out of Tuarangi Road

Allowing the right turn during off-peak times means that the traffic island on Tuarangi Road would need to be removed.

Without the physical restriction, some drivers will choose to ignore the restrictions during peak hours and this will compromise safety for other road users.

Remove the left-hand turn out of Tuarangi Road

Site observations have shown that there is a high left-turn movement from Tuarangi Road into Great North Road. Banning this movement would reroute traffic to other parts of the network and result in significant congestion.

Make left-turn out of Tuarangi Rd a clearway from 7am to 9am

The existing no parking at all times restrictions out of Tuarangi Road ensures that parked vehicles will not block the operation of Tuarangi Road.

We will continue to monitor the situation and consider new parking restrictions when necessary.

Suggestion to have two lanes turning left out of Tuarangi Road

Without the proposed splitter island, having a two-lane exit from Tuarangi Road could allow vehicles to make an illegal right turn out of Tuarangi Road and compromise road safety for other road users.

Prevent movement straight ahead from Tuarangi Road in Bullock Track

With the proposed traffic lights the straight ahead movement from Tuarangi Road in Bullock Track will not be permitted. The only allowed movement out of Tuarangi Road will be left turning into Great North Road.

Changes have been made to the proposal to reinstate the traffic island on Bullock Track to prevent the straight through movement from Tuarangi Road.

Motorists potentially making an illegal right turn from Tuarangi Road into Great North Road

A traffic island is proposed to physically restrict motorists from making an illegal right turn from Tuarangi Road into Great North Road.

The traffic signal phasing for Tuarangi Road will also be configured to run with the eastbound movement on Great North Road to further discourage motorists from making an illegal right turn.

Bullock Track

Suggestion to ban the right-turn out of Bullock Track, make Bullock Track one way only or making Bullock Track a cul-de-sac

We have investigated making Bullock Track one way only, making Bullock Track a cul-de-sac and banning the right-turn into Great North Road.

Results from traffic modelling on the wider network show that any of these options would direct traffic to the Surrey Crescent and Great North Road intersection. This junction is already at capacity and introducing further traffic will increase congestion in the area.

Left-hand turning traffic from Bullock Track into Great North Road has visibility blocked by through traffic on Great North Road

With the proposed traffic lights, drivers on the Bullock Track will have their own signal phase and would not be in conflict with traffic coming from Great North Road.

Traffic lights

New traffic lights will create congestion

The objective of this proposal is to improve safety for the Bullock Track and Great North Road intersection, and at the same time improve the connectivity for other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers as much as possible.

We will monitor and continue to identify opportunities to optimise the operation of the traffic light phasing to suit the traffic flow in the area.

Add Barnes dance at the intersection

Current pedestrian and cyclist use does not indicate there is sufficient need for a Barnes dance crossing.

We will monitor any increase of demands and consider changing the pedestrian crossing phase if necessary.

Suggest lights at peak times only

Currently we don’t install part-time traffic signals.

Bus lane

Bus lane slows traffic north of Great North Road

Great North Road is a frequent bus route which requires a bus lane. The bus lane increases the efficiency of the service and means that customers know buses will arrive on time.

Add a dedicated lane into motorway instead of sharing this with the bus

As part of the proposal, we will shorten the existing westbound bus lane. This will provide additional queuing space for motorway traffic.

Bus stop

Where the bus stop is proposed to be relocated to and why?

At present vehicles travelling westbound along Great North Road are often queued on the bus lane while they wait to access the motorway on-ramp.

Bus drivers are consequently delayed from reaching the existing bus stop outside 736 Great North Road.

Relocating the bus stop to outside 722 Great North Road will remove the conflict.

Bus stop is too close to the intersection

The proposed bus stop location is closer to the new signalised crossing points and will be safer and more convenient for bus passengers. 

Alternative solution

Install a roundabout

One of the key reasons to install traffic lights over a roundabout is that traffic lights can be monitored and adjusted as the traffic and pedestrian volume changes.

Having control over the light phasing is important as the intersection is close to the Western Springs Park and the north-western motorway which generate high demand during events and in peak traffic times.

Other requests out-of-scope

Stadium Road is used to access motorway on-ramp / add lights at the Western Springs and St Lukes Road intersection to relieve congestion / why is the left turn from Great North Road to Stadium Road retained?

The objective of this proposal is to improve the safety and operation of the Bullock Track and Great North Road intersection for all road users and improve pedestrian and cyclists amenities.

The operation of Stadium Road, as well as the operation of Western Springs Road and St Lukes Road intersection, is not part of the scope of this proposal.

The best way to report this problem is using our Report a problem form

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport