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All roads lead to New Zealand's most complicated intersections, roundabouts and junctions

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Getting through Warkworth can have its tribulations.


The discovery that 18 traffic light poles have been put in to control a Christchurch intersection intrigued many readers, so we thought it would be interesting to look at other places where the meeting of roads is complicated.


Starting with probably the country's best known convergence of motorways - "Spaghetti Junction", or more formally the Central Motorway Junction, on the southwestern edge of the Auckland CBD.


NZ Transport Agency data shows the junction, linking Stage Highway 1 with SH16, is the busiest piece of roading in the country, with more than 200,000 vehicles a day passing through it.


It shows the massive scale of infrastructure needed to move large numbers of people around to a vast range of destinations.


That point about scale is being emphasised by Auckland's newest major roading project, the Waterview Connection, which is not far from the CMJ and is expected to ease some of the pressure on it.


Also dear to the hearts of Auckland drivers is the Panmure roundabout - the meeting place for six roads.


As with several of the country's most heavily cursed pieces of roadway, plans are in place to make it less of a trial.


A new road opened in late 2014 enabled some traffic that had previously used the roundabout to avoid it. Under the second stage of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI), the roundabout will be upgraded to a signalised intersection, although construction isn't due to start until 2021.


Panmure isn't the only roundabout to exercise the patience of Auckland drivers.


Travel west about 8km along the base of the Auckland isthmus and you can enjoy the fun of the Royal Oak roundabout, which has the benefit of being the meeting place of only five major roads.


Newshub reporter Lachlan Forsyth once tweeted, with a reference to the Tour de France cycle race: "Never mind Mont Ventoux, the true pinnacle of cycling achievement is negotiating the Royal Oak roundabout."


Another charming roading gem is a little to the north of Auckland, at Warkworth.


This the point where the main route between Auckland and Northland - SH1 - is crossed by traffic travelling between the east and west sides of the township, and meets vehicles coming from the trendy village of Matakana and some attractive east coast beaches.


Faced by a public outcry, NZTA and Auckland Transport did spend about $1 million on some small scale improvements in late 2014, but the main fix won't come until a completely new road from Puhoi to just north of Warkworth is built. That's targeted for 2022.


Moving south, Wellington has its own particular traffic challenges, on a more intimate scale than those in the great metropolis of the north.


Probably the capital's favourite intersection headache is the Basin Reserve, where a noose of roads form a tight perimeter for the cricket ground.


NZTA thought it had a solution but the courts were unimpressed, so the issue is back on the drawing board.


Dunedin may not be facing the same traffic headaches as some of the country's faster growing centres.


But it does have a bit of an interesting meeting of the ways, near Knox Church, at the northern end of the CBD.


This point, where main road George St meets three other streets has been the most dangerous intersection in the city, based on NZTA data.


And just for fun here's a picture of a roundabout in Swindon, England.




Known as the magic roundabout, Wired recently described it as having "brilliant sorcery".



We, at Fix Hill Street Now, have compiled our own Top Ten of the Worst Intersections in New Zealand. Click on the images below. We've added to the Michael Daly's list that certainly deserves attention.





#worstintersection #design #congestion