Coatesville-Riverhead Highway & Barrett Road, Riverhead - Right turn bay Coatesville-Riverhead Highway & Barrett Road, Riverhead - Right turn bay

Proposal status: Closed

Reference number: MIP1920-046

Project update

In March 2021, we communicated that the proposed changes will be constructed between July 2022 and June 2023 depending on the funding availability. We anticipate implementing these changes between July 2024 and June 2025.

Proposal outcome

In December 2020, we proposed changes to road safety at the intersection of Coatesville-Riverhead Highway and Barrett Road. After reviewing all the feedback, we are proceeding with the work as proposed without any changes.

These works will help support our Vision Zero goal.

What happens next

We anticipate the changes will be constructed in the 2021/2022 financial year depending on budget availability. We will be in touch with local residents and business prior to any construction taking place.

Community feedback

Thank you for helping us make better decisions for your neighbourhood, informed by your local knowledge.  A summary of your feedback and our responses to community questions is below.

We received positive feedback noting that the proposal is a welcomed safety improvement for residents who turn right onto Barrett Road. They noted that cars behind them become impatient and try to pass on the left or sound their horn.

Thank you for your feedback and we are happy to hear our initiatives will improve this intersection.


  • Suggestions to upgrade the streetlights to improve visibility at night.
    A lighting review of the area will be undertaken during detailed design phase and lighting improvements will be implemented if required.
  • Requests for further tree/vegetation trimming on the slope of 1 Barrett Road.
    The trees and vegetation do not impede visibility of oncoming traffic from the eastern direction, and therefore, trimming is not necessary at this stage.

Turning movements

  • Suggestion to have a merging lane for right-turning traffic from Barrett Road onto the Highway.
    The flush median can be used to temporarily wait and merge with traffic.
  • Concern the road markings on Barrett Road assume vehicles are unable to turn right onto the Highway and suggest for a left and right turn bays or lanes on Barrett Road.
    Barrett Road leads to a long dead-end road in a sparse residential area with low traffic volumes comprising mostly of residents does not justify having a dual lane exit, with the width being no different to the existing. The flush island markings are there to provide separation from the opposing traffic. However, larger vehicles turning can track over it, so it is not suitable as a waiting area.
  • Concern that the left turn into Barret Road is sharp and cars following are too slow to react. Respondent suggested having a sign indicating the left turn into Barrett Road is sharp.
    The Road Code states that a safe following distance should be maintained by applying the 2-second rule on dry roads and the 4-second rule in wet/frosty conditions. This applies for all roads. The speed limit on Coatesville-Riverhead Highway has recently been lowered from 80km/h to 60km/h, which provides additional reaction time.
  • Suggestion to have the proposed lanes for the turning bay and straight through lane be wide enough to accommodate the width of 2 buses.
    The likelihood of a bus waiting at the right-turn bay and another bus or large vehicle travelling straight through on Coatesville-Riverhead Highway at the same time is very low. If that were to happen, there is sufficient width available for the vehicles to pass each other with careful driver consideration.

Chip seal safety

  • Numerous requests to have the large gravel pull-in area (southern side of the junction) be tar sealed. Respondents also thought to turn this area into a passing bay for slower cars/trucks.
    The southern side of Coatesville-Riverhead Highway will be sealed with a 1.5m wide shoulder. There is not enough width of road for the length required for a compliant passing bay.
  • Concern the chip seal on the junction/up the first part of Barrett Road will cause loose gravel to build up. This causes issues when vehicles move out and into the highway. Explaining that it is easy to lose traction going down on the last part of the slope of Barrett Road to the junction.
    The southern side of Coatesville-Riverhead Highway will be sealed with a 1.5m wide shoulder to provide traction for drivers cutting the corner onto Coatesville-Riverhead Highway. Edge lines will be marked leading up to and around the junction to guide motorists exiting Barrett Road.
  • Requests that the hard shoulder on the side of Barrett Road would be sealed.
    The southern side of Coatesville-Riverhead Highway will be sealed with a 1.5m wide shoulder.

Cyclist safety

  • Concern the crash barrier will cause safety issues for cyclists. There could be a risk for cyclists to be ‘pushed’ when large vehicles pass causing them to bump into the crash barrier and then bounce back off into the road instead of being pushed into a ditch.
    The road widening will push the edge of the road much closer to the row of large mature trees and the steep drop-off. The limited shoulder width will not provide any opportunity for a vehicle that leaves the road to recover without colliding with the trees. This presents a significant safety risk as they travel at a greater speed than cyclists where a collision with the tree can be fatal for the driver.

Bus stop requests

  • Requests an AT bus stop for Route 126 (Albany to Westgate).
    We are working with the Rodney Local Board to establish a bus stop further to the east, but we cannot commit to the cost that would be required to create more of these solutions to support the 126 route. Establishing a rural bus stop to support scheduled bus services requires a significant amount of funds as they involve establishing full pull offs, acceleration areas, plus footpaths and suitable pedestrian crossings. We appreciate that this is frustrating, but until we have sufficient funds to invest in safe pairs of rural bus stops, it will not be possible to establish more of them at this time.
  • Questions if consideration was taken into the plans regarding the school buses that drops off passengers daily on the Smythe Fertilisers private land/corner of Barrett and Highway.
    This project should not affect the existing operation of the rural school bus services. Although only 1.5m of shoulder will be sealed on the southern side of Coatesville-Riverhead Highway, the buses can continually use both the sealed and unsealed section of the shoulder. On the northern side, the project does not appear to affect any part of the road or shoulder that the bus could suitably stop on currently. Additionally, school buses are different to scheduled services. When they are operating, the road rule requires that traffic should slow down to 20km/h when passing.


  • Request to change Barrett and Lloyd Road to 60km speed limit – as it does not make sense to reduce the Highway to 60km and not the ‘residential’ streets.
    This request has been passed onto the Road Safety Engineering Team to investigate as part of their Speed Limit Bylaw Review.
  • Concern that the new median will cause drivers to dangerously overtake those who are driving slower.
    There is always a risk of this kind of behaviour happening on all parts of the network with a flush median. However, the safety benefits of providing a right turn bay will outweigh this risk.
  • Suggestions for the Council to better maintain the planting on the left side of Barrett Road turning left onto the Highway as the neighbourhood has volunteered all the planting.
    This has been passed onto Auckland Council to maintain the planting.

We're proposing improvements in your area

Aucklanders have told us that moving around our region safely and easily is important to them. We are proposing some improvements to your area. We would like to improve road safety at the intersection of Coatesville-Riverhead Highway and Barrett Road by providing a new right-turn bay on Coatesville-Riverhead Highway.

The changes we are proposing:

  • Install a new right-turn bay on Coatesville-Riverhead Highway at the intersection of Barrett Road. A right-turn bay is an area where vehicles that are turning right can wait until it is safe to turn, without holding up vehicles going straight through.
  • A new flush median that extends from 890 to 868 Coatesville-Riverhead Highway. These are white diagonal lines painted in the centre of the road that give vehicles a safe place to stop before turning into Barrett Road.
  • Road widening from 890 to 868 Coatesville-Riverhead Highway to help support the new right-turn bay.
  • Install a new safety barrier that extends from 890 Coatesville-Riverhead Highway to the opposite side of the intersection.
  • Construct a new retaining wall that will help support the road widening.
  • Seal the driveway of 889 Coatesville-Riverhead Highway.
  • Install new signs at 890 Coatesville-Riverhead Highway to describe the approaching curve in the road.
  • Trim vegetation to improve visibility.

Download the proposal drawing for Coatesville-Riverhead Highway (PDF 2.3MB)

Auckland Transport would like to work with you to deliver safer roads in your neighbourhood. The proposed changes are in response to public requests to improve the safety and congestion issues at this intersection. Coatesville-Riverhead Highway is a major arterial route that carries high volumes of traffic. Currently, there is only one lane in each direction and when a vehicle wishes to turn right onto Barrett Road, this blocks the lane and causes congestion. The congestion then can lead to dangerous overtaking behaviours for frustrated drivers. The new right turning bay aims to help turning manoeuvres and allow traffic to flow.

What happens next

  • We’ll consider all the feedback we receive, and then decide the best way to move forward.
  • Auckland Council is implementing an Emergency Budget which will reduce AT’s capital and operating budgets. We are seeking feedback now so that we can be prepared once the funding for this project is given the go ahead.
  • We’ll post the outcome of this proposal and a summary of community feedback on this webpage.
  • We can email you the proposal outcome as soon as it’s ready – just select that option when you fill in the survey.

Riverhead: Safe with us

Auckland Transport cares for your safety. We want to make our roads safe for everyone, people walking and cycling, especially for our kids and senior citizens and people driving. Projects like this one around Coatesville-Riverhead Highway are another step towards our goal of achieving no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. We are guided by the Vision Zero approach to transport safety, which prioritises human safety over other measures (like minor time saving).