Wellington Scoop

Changing SH1 intersection to stop shortcuts at Hawkestone Street


News from NZTA
The NZ Transport Agency and the Wellington City Council will be introducing changes to the Hawkestone Street/State Highway 1 intersection to improve safety and efficiency for road users and pedestrians.

The Hawkestone Street intersection with State Highway 1 is currently used by some commuters as a detour to skip ahead of queues when travelling south on State Highway 1, particularly during morning traffic.

The Transport Agency’s Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says this creates delays for other commuters travelling south on State Highway 1, adds to the congestion and poses a significant safety risk to road users and pedestrians on Hawkestone Street.

“To address this, we will be introducing changes to the layout of the Hawkestone Street intersection which will make it safer, improve traffic flow along Hawkestone Street, and prevent urban motorway commuters from using the intersection as a detour,” Mr Owen says.

The changes will include:

altering the shape of the traffic island on Hawkestone Street so it extends around the entry to the southbound on-ramp. This will mean vehicles can only enter the State Highway 1 on-ramp from Hawkestone Street and won’t be able to enter from the State Highway 1 off-ramp anymore;
a new give way intersection on the on-ramp to make merging safer and more efficient;
raising the central median area next to the on-ramp on Hawkestone Street to create a traffic island and pedestrian refuge; and
creating a new pedestrian path across Hawkestone Street so it’s safer and easier to cross.

The new layout means there will also be changes to parking on Hawkestone Street. The coupon carparks on Hawkestone Street will be removed and replaced with coupon carparks on Tinakori Road and one coupon carpark opposite the bus stop on Hawkestone Street.

Construction of the introductory layout is due to begin on Monday and expected to take two nights, depending on weather. It will involve installing flexible bollards which will set the new layout.

“The new layout will be in place for three weeks while we carefully monitor road user and pedestrian behaviour, which will help us determine the success of the new layout and identify any unforeseen issues before making the improvements permanent,” Mr Owen says. “Once we are certain that the layout works, we will remove the flexible bollards and install the permanent road layout using concrete.”


  1. Te Kawenata, 13. March 2019, 14:58

    Ok. So you hang a left and then sneak across to then enter the flow onto the motorway! Yeah that solution will work! And you get paid right to come up with these grand ideas and then taxpayers’ money goes into the concrete, design etc. All so someone works out a way to bypass. I figure that this practice has been going on for at least 15 years. It takes less than 15secs to work out the flaw in your ingenious plan!

  2. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 13. March 2019, 21:24

    U-turn ban on Hawkestone St will fix that, Te Kawenata.

  3. Barbara Smyth, 14. March 2019, 11:49

    Chris – Yes I agree cars are skipping across Hawkestone Street to beat the queue on the motorway BUT PLEASE can you look at Hill Street which is now a nightmare. They are obviously coming off the motorway and turning left into Hill Street.

  4. Andrew Bartlett, 14. March 2019, 12:16

    I commend the council and NZTA for being willing to trial design options using flexible bollards.
    Far better to trial improvements and get feedback fast then to either:
    – run an entire construction program and find it just doesn’t work in the real world
    – give up a promising solution because of fears that may not show up in reality.
    Please do this more often!