Cambridge Rd Hillcrest counting traffic

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The Draft Regional Land Transport Plan (DRLTP) (Appendices page 37) had the upgrade of the SH1/26 Hillcrest/Morrinsville roundabout lying outside of the 3 year programme.

The writers of the DRLTP may have had good reasons for not giving this intersection higher priority, including the fact that the opening of the Wairere Drive extension to Cambridge Rd has not shown the kind of growth in traffic volumes that would increase congestion at this intersection. The combined traffic counts around this southern entrance to Hamilton are actually at a similar volume to a decade ago.

Cambridge Rd Hillcrest Area Counting Traffic

NZTA also offers predicted traffic counts for 2021 with SH26 at 12,200 and SH1 Cambridge Rd at 29,000, which are lower than the combined traffic count of 7 years ago.Hamilton section: Projected traffic volumes 2021 poster

And if we look to the future effects of the completion of the $972,000,000 Waikato expressway Hamilton section, NZTA tells us:

“The Hamilton section will: Reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on Hamilton’s local road network by significantly reducing through traffic.

Now if we spend nearly one billion dollars on a Hamilton bypass that is said to significantly reduce through traffic, which can only mean reducing traffic entering Hamilton from the south, why is Cr H Vercoe (Waikato RTC Chair) writing to NZTA for an earlier intersection upgrade when traffic modelling is said to show this only as a potential long-term problem? The following is from a letter sent by Cr Vercoe to the NZTA  Draft Regional Land Transport Plan (DRLTP) (Appendices-Appendix 10. page 42):

“SH1/26 Hillcrest/Morrinsville Intersection. Longer term modelling provided to Future Proof on the functioning of this corridor has also highlighted the potential for notable congestion around this roundabout as a result of the completion of the Waikato Expressway.

Lastly, why would NZTA approve this? Are there two NZTAs – one spending nearly a billion dollars to reduce through traffic at this intersection and another spending millions because the above billion dollars is going to actually increase traffic congestion?




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