Wellington Scoop

Fourth day of traffic delays on SH1 after NZTA changes road layout

The NZ Transport Agency introduced a new road layout on State Highway 1 north of Paekakariki at the weekend, as part of its Transmission Gully work. But the result was dismal – traffic congestion on Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday, from soon after noon till mid-evening, with an apology from the Agency. On Monday morning there was more of the same; the Transport Agency advised that there was “significant congestion” for southbound traffic between Raumati and Mackay’s Crossing. And again this morning, but for a shorter period.

This is how the NZTA described Monday’s delays:

This was yesterday’s congestion – starting soon after midday and continuing for nine hours:

Saturday’s congestion eased after about six hours:

And this is how they described the change:


  1. Traveller, 15. December 2018, 17:47

    Let’s hope that they can design Transmission Gully better than this small new stretch of road.

  2. Jonny Utzone, 15. December 2018, 19:55

    Traveller – and toll it, or have they left this obvious option too late?

  3. TrevorH, 16. December 2018, 7:24

    @Jonny Utzone: we are already paying for Transmission Gully through fuel taxes and road user charges. People should not be discouraged from using the new highway – it will be far safer and it will reduce congestion through towns like Plimmerton, Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki.

  4. Mike Mellor, 16. December 2018, 12:39

    TrevorH: indeed we are all paying for it, whether we use it or not. And while it may be safer than the existing road, travelling by rail is safer still. NZTA predicts that Transmission Gully will reduce Kapiti Line train patronage by 25%, so the new road will make travel less safe for those people.

    NZTA also predicts that it will increase the number of vehicles coming into Wellington city by 12,000 a day, thereby increasing congestion and emissions.

    Transmission Gully is planned to open in May 2020 (and Peka Peka-Otaki that year, too), so these significant adverse effects are less than 18 months away. Has anyone a plan to deal with them?

  5. Bernard C, 16. December 2018, 13:49

    We should not have toll roads.
    The govt decided not to use the reserve bank for no interest loans for infrastructure. We are already paying way too much for all these bottlenecks.
    NZTA gets a thumbs down low rating raspberry for its design of costly new expressways and for its transmission gully.

  6. Ian Timperley, 17. December 2018, 10:41

    I see the problem is with some drivers. They think they need to slow down over the new piece of road when they can travel at the allowable speed limit.

    Once one car slows then all the following vehicles have to slow and it becomes a concertina effect.

    The number of lanes is exactly as it was before so it should not be any different to what we have been having to put up with for the past months.

  7. greenwelly, 17. December 2018, 11:24

    @Ian T. “I see the problem is with some drivers. They think they need to slow down over the new piece of road when they can travel at the allowable speed limit.” Err, why wouldn’t the traffic slow down, NZTA have stuck up a whole pile of 50km/h and “Gravel surface” signs at both ends….They promised it would be 80km/h…. “Once this new route is open, please continue to adhere to the temporary speed limits of 80km/h. ^RS”