Locals air their views on Hill Street

Officials explain the options at the Warkworth Town Hall.

More than 200 people took the opportunity to listen to experts and provide feedback at public open days last month to look at options for improving Warkworth’s notoriously congested Hill Street intersection.

Members of the public met with representatives from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport, along with transport engineering consultants at open days held at the Warkworth Town Hall on November 24 and 28.   

The NZTA has shortlisted two options for improving the intersection as follows:

Option A proposes a roundabout with vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on all arms, potentially controlled by traffic lights. The roundabout will be oval shaped to increase distance between arms, creating gaps for traffic to enter.

Option B proposes traffic signals at the Hill Street intersection controlling all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Elizabeth Street would be one way towards the town centre. Traffic leaving the town centre would get to SH1 via a new connection at Bank Street.

Option B includes a variation which reduces vehicle movements to a ‘left in’ only at Elizabeth Street. Drivers from the north, south and west would access Elizabeth Street via a roundabout at Matakana Road/Sandspit Road.

Also at the open days was Roger Williams, of pressure group Fix Hill Street Now, who proposes yet another option. The “Williams” option is similar to Option A but proposes a second roundabout at the intersection of Sandspit Road and Matakana Road to form a “dogbone”.

Mr Williams says this create a simple and intuitive intersection where all traffic will give way to the right and permits free flowing traffic from all exits.

NZTA’s deadline for public feedback on the options is Friday, December 14. Feedback can be provided online at nzta.govt.nz/hill-street-improvements.

Locals shared their views with Mahurangi Matters … 

Matthew Buchanan, Warkworth
Prefers: Option A
The roundabout is going to be a much easier option in terms of ingress and egress. Once the SH1 deviation is completed I think this roundabout is going to enhance traffic flow and is going to be the preferred option for me. Option B is disjointed and messy.

Elizabeth Jones, Leigh
Prefers: None
My preference would be to try and divert some traffic flows away from Hill Street. At the moment, there does not seem to be very much that’s actually about diversion. It’s all about still allowing the same amount of traffic to come through the area.    
Graeme Burton, Sandspit
Prefers: Option B variation.
I like the Option B variation. It means we might get some reprieve from this situation on Sandspit Road when we have to give way to our right to traffic on Matakana Road.
Gera Verheul, Point Wells
Prefers: None
I’m really worried about the roundabout in Option A. How can people walking and cycling navigate this? They say they are catering for walking and cycling, but even on the big maps I can’t see it. At least Option B takes out the big roundabout but then they are doing this whole new street (Bank Street) which puts another traffic light on SH1. Is that going to make SH1 even more of a nightmare?
Bevan Woodward, Warkworth
Prefers: None
I think none of this is necessary. We have got the new Puhoi to Warkworth motorway and Matakana link road coming, and that will take a massive amount of traffic out of this intersection. This is the heart of our town, and we don’t want a mass of concrete or a mass of tarmac there. We need to reduce the amount of roading, if anything.

Roger Williams, Warkworth
Prefers: Williams option
I support the roundabout in Option A on the understanding that it can be developed into the “dogbone” option, which I have proposed. Everybody I have talked to believes this will resolve all our Hill Street problems.


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