Proposal status: Feedback closed 27 August 2020, last updated 2 February 2021.
Reference number: RTV-201b
In August 2020, we proposed changes to improve road safety along Hull Road and at the intersection of Hull Road and Austin Road in Waitoki. After reviewing all the feedback, we are proceeding with the following changes.
We will extend the length of road that will be restricted this winter. Feedback highlighted additional areas along Hull Road where the road continues to be damaged. As a result, we will be extending the length to improve the safety of all road users like people walking, cycling and horse riding. As a Vision Zero organisation, we are committed to making the roads around Auckland safer and reducing the risk of death or serious injuries on our roads.
What happens next
We anticipate the improvements to be constructed by the time the trial starts on 1st June 2021. The winter driving restriction will go until 31 August 2021 and we will ask for your feedback on how the trial went towards the end of 2021. After reviewing this feedback, we will determine how to proceed for the following year.
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.
- Concern the proposal does not resolve the issue at the other end of Hull Road (near Hauora Lane) and damage will continue. We have listened to your concerns regarding other areas along Hull Road that are damaged. Based on the community feedback, we have extended the length of the road restriction. In extending the length, we are aiming to prevent further road damage and improve road safety.
- Concern about those who park in the middle of Austin Road and Hull Road and block traffic. When vehicles are parked in the middle of the road and blocking traffic, please call the Auckland Transport Contact Centre on (09) 355 3553 with the vehicle details to request for enforcement and our parking compliance team will investigate further.
- Concern the restriction will cause four-wheel drive recreational vehicles to turn around and exit via Kahikatea Road and thereby causing dangerous situations on this single-track road. The proposal has been improved by extending the length of the restriction on Hull Road and with these adjustments will solve this concern. Additionally, drivers will be given advanced warning of the road closure and this section of road should be wide enough to allow them to make a U-turn before they reach the road closure.
- Concern the winter driving restriction will not result in the reduction of anti-social and aggressive behaviour all year round. The proposal may assist with anti-social behaviour issues, however, the changes proposed reduce safety risks by addressing the road surface damage and mud tracking onto sealed roads. Auckland Transport does not have the authority to solve issues of anti-social behaviour however, with the restriction in place, the New Zealand Police will now be able to enforce the road restriction and any anti-social behaviour that might occur.
- Concern around how horse riders will be able to pass through the gates on their horses. The gates will be designed to include a stall-style access to allow horses and other animals to pass through.
- Concern that policing these restrictions and locked gate will be challenging. Monitoring and enforcement will be undertaken by New Zealand Police. With the physical barriers in place, the New Zealand Police will have a clear responsibility and will now be able to enforce the restrictions during the winter period between 1st June to 30th August.
- Numerous concerns that it rains throughout the year and road damage continues during periods of drought. Numerous suggestions that the road restriction should be extended to accommodate other wet months. We have considered extending the restricted period to accommodate other wet months. Although we acknowledge it rains throughout the whole year, in this instance, we are focused on the wettest months which is during the winter – June, July and August. This proposal aims to prevent further road damage and unsafe driving conditions, this is more likely to occur during the winter months. As this project is a trial it will be reviewed at its completion to determine if the period needs to be extended or reduced.
- Concern that Auckland Transport is not stopping unlawful to damage to Hull Road. Auckland Transport regulations requires that we follow the correct legal processes, which often means it will take some time to investigate and find a suitable solution. There are also issues of limited resourcing, as there is currently no funding for unformed legal roads. The ability to take enforcement action in relation to damage to the road surface would require being able to identify that a specific person caused that particular damage. To further complicate the issue, the existing road surface is already so damaged where any new damage is generally taking place below the muddy surface.
- Concern that this project has been given low priority and little consideration to the local community. We are focused on making roads around Auckland safer and reducing the risk of death or serious injuries – there is a lot of ground to cover. While unformed legal roads have the same status as any other legal road, there are challenges in obtaining resourcing and funding to improve these roads. There have been substantial calls to fund these roads all around Auckland, but Auckland Transport cannot prioritize expenditure on unformed legal roads.
In this instance the greatest risk to safety of innocent road users would be caused by the mud deposits left on Austin Road from vehicles leaving Hull Road. This is why our first proposal was to prevent this from happening at all by making that end Hull Road a one-way road leading away from Austin Road.
Auckland Transport accepts that many common uses of an unformed legal road may cause damage to the surface of the road. The prevention on damaging a road must be balanced against the right to use the road. All road users must however take care to minimise damage to the road. Road users must also take into account that factors such as weather conditions may cause the unformed road to be more easily damaged.
We are unable to prioritise changes solely to meet the needs of a particular individual, business or organisation. In this proposal, the balance between the right of free passage needs to be reduced as the environment has been damaged. Auckland Transport has the right to restrict vehicle movements on unformed legal roads for the purpose of protecting the environment or the public. This is what we are trying to achieve with this second proposal for winter driving restrictions.
- Concern Auckland Transport is breaking its own best practices for unformed legal roads. Our approach is in accordance with the management of unformed legal roads document as that makes it clear that Auckland Transport does not have funds available to undertake expensive works on unformed legal roads. The document does not state that Auckland Transport will take action to prevent damage to roads or to ensure that roads are able to be used by specified classes of road users such as pedestrians or horse riders.
We are working through the process of managing this unformed legal road and in this situation requires us to complete internal reviews and a public consultation. What we are proposing aims to bring the best solution that fixes the road safety issues for everyone in the area as many other options have either been opposed or require acquisition of land. This will be a trial and if this solution does not solve the issue, we will have to take another approach.
- Concern that there is mud running off into the creek by Austin Road and could be negatively impacting the aquatic life. Thank you for letting us know, this issue has been referred to Auckland Council’s biodiversity unit to be investigated.
- Many respondents explained the current state of the road is unsafe for road users such as horse riders, walkers and mountain bikers. Thank you for providing your feedback, this proposal aims to improve Hull Road and the intersection with Austin Road to make it safer for all road users. As a result of your feedback, we have extended the length to accommodate further sections of damaged road.
- Numerous suggestions that Auckland Transport should maintain the road with measures such as adding gravel in the first 100 metres start of the road at the Austin Road end. Consideration was given to the maintenance of the road but given the limited resourcing and how best to address this issue, the winter road restriction, currently appears to be the most effective option. No further works can be provided besides what was proposed in our final proposal. As this is a trial, the restriction will be reviewed annually.
- A suggestion to also lock the gates between 7pm and 7am during the summer. At this stage there are no plans to extend the driving restriction into the summer months.
- Various suggestions expressed the need to close the road; closed permanently to motorised vehicles and should only be open to pedestrians and cyclists; completely closed to all vehicles until it can be correctly monitored and enforced for non-compliance and illegal behaviour; or closed to any person who are going to damage Hull and Austin Roads all year. To completely prohibit motor vehicles, there are two options: 1) full road stopping or 2) pedestrian mall.
Road stopping, is the term given to changing land with the legal status of road to a freehold title. To do this the land would need to be sold to the owners of the farms that runs through Hull Road and then no one would have the right to access – only access agreed to by the owners. Read more about changing the legal status of a road and how to apply to stop a road.
For the second option, the pedestrian mall could allow for cyclists and horse riders in addition to pedestrians. To put a pedestrian mall in place, this control requires use of a special consultative procedure and options for it to be appealed to the Environment Court. This is not a process we have used for preventing vehicles from accessing an unformed legal road in a rural area where there is no particular history or expectation of large-scale pedestrian usage. Since this is not the intended use of this legal power, we would not want to experiment with that option without first trying other options – such as the current proposal.
The partial restriction we have proposed is aimed at improving the damage caused to the road surface such as the mud being dragged onto Austin Road, which primarily occurs during the wetter, winter months. We would prefer to at least try this current proposal to see if it does have an impact of improving the road as it has become apparent a solution needs to be taken. As this proposal is a trial, we will review its function to understand if changes need to happen.
- Suggestion for signs to educate those who use the amenities. Thank you for your suggestions. The only signage we will be installing are advisory signs that provide advanced warning of pinch points or narrowing and limited visibility areas.
- A suggestion to install a prepay system with set times and fines for recreational drivers. At this time, we are unable to facilitate this type of system as the capabilities for it do not exist.
- Suggest Auckland Transport to watch four-wheel drive recreational vehicles in action to understand their impacts. We have received multiple reports, including photographic images and videos of the damage to the road surface. We are aware of the different users who are impacting the road. To protect all road users and the environment, we have proposed this winter driving restriction.
We proposed improvements in your area
In April 2019, we proposed to change Hull Road to a one-way road. As a result of feedback from your neighbourhood, the proposed designs will not go ahead because a one-way road would not address the concerns raised. Instead, we’ve developed a new design that could address the concerns of your neighbourhood.
Aucklanders have told us that moving around our region safely and easily is important to them. Our new proposal would introduce a winter driving restriction on Hull Road, from 1 June to 31 August 2021. If the trial is successful, this winter restriction would continue each year.
Listening to what you have to say is important to us and together we can achieve the best outcomes for your neighbourhood.
The changes we are proposing are:
- Add new 'Road closed to motor vehicles between 1 June to 31 August 2021' signs, on all entrances to Hull Road.
- Add new advisory signs explaining the road conditions.
- Install a new gate and fence where Hull Road joins Windmill Glen Road to block motor vehicles’ access to this section of the road.
- Lock the Austin Road gate to Hull Road to block motor vehicles’ access.
Drivers are tracking excessive mud from Hull Road onto Austin Road causing road damage and unsafe driving conditions. By closing Hull Road during the winter season this should prevent further road damage on both roads and address anti-social behaviour. Hull Road will still be open to pedestrians and cyclists during these months.
What happens next
We’ll review all the feedback we receive, and then decide the best way to move forward. 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.
If you would like to read more about the previous proposal for Hull Road’s one-way road.
Hull Road is an unformed legal road (or 'paper road') which is a legally-recognised road that is undeveloped or partly formed, but provides public access to a particular area or feature. More information can be found on our website by searching “Unformed legal road”.
Waitoki: 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 Hull Road 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).