Christchurch City Council is moving ahead with a plan to reduce bus journey times by giving buses priority on Main North Road.
In early January its contractor, Citycare, will start installing northbound bus lanes on Main North Road between Winston Avenue and Sawyers Arms Road.
Citycare will also make layout changes to the entrance of Northlands Shopping Centre and install new traffic lights at the intersection of Main North Road and Grassmere Street.
The existing southbound bus lane on Main North Road between Mary Street and Homer Street, which currently only operates in the morning peak, will also be changed so it operates in the afternoon as well.
“These changes are primarily about improving the reliability of travel times for public transport up and down Main North Road,’’ says Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis.
“Main North Road is one of the busiest streets in Christchurch and carries high volumes of buses taking people between the city centre and the northern suburbs. We want to give buses priority so they stay on schedule and provide a good service to passengers.’’
Ms Ellis says as much of the work as possible will be done at night to minimise the disruption to businesses in the area.
Main North Road will remain open to two-way traffic during the road works. Side streets and lanes will be closed intermittently.
“Citycare will contact businesses in the area before Christmas to talk to them about the project. There will also be a community drop-in session at the Papanui Service Centre (entrance off Restell Street) on 14 January, between 3.30 and 6.30pm, where people can come along and ask questions about the work,’’ Ms Ellis says.
The work on Main North Road is expected to take about six months to complete. It is budgeted to cost about $2.5 million.