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Phoebe Falconer answers your questions about Auckland

Ask Phoebe: Paperchase trucks long gone from Shore

A Paperchase truck in action in 2002. Photo / Kenny Rodger
A Paperchase truck in action in 2002. Photo / Kenny Rodger

What has become of the Paperchase trucks which used to collect the North Shore's paper for recycling? I've just realised that I haven't seen any for a long time. Are papers now collected simply as part of the Envirowaste recycling scheme, although they don't go at the same time as the green bins? Presumably some other company has been awarded the contract, but I never seem to see a truck doing the job. Gretchen Leach, Mairangi Bay.

It has been quite some time. Paper collection on the North Shore has been carried out under contract by Onyx since 2005 following an open tender. The decision was based on service quality and best value for money.

Are you aware of any plans in the pipeline to address the bottleneck of traffic that occurs between Wairau Rd offramp and the Albany Expressway? This heavy traffic appears mainly due to vehicles from SH18 feeding into a two-lane section of SH1, combined with a heavily used offramp shortly thereafter in the Albany Expressway.

Damien Browne, Albany.

The NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council are working together to improve the transport system across the wider North Harbour area. The first priority for the NZTA is to increase the room available for northbound traffic on the Northern Motorway (SH1) between Upper Harbour Highway and Greville Rd, including interim improvements to the Greville Rd interchange. The extra room is expected to have a positive impact on traffic flows. Investigations on how best to do this are already underway, and construction is scheduled to start in mid to late 2013.

The Transport Agency is also planning to investigate interim improvements along Upper Harbour Highway, including some improvements to several intersections. Longer term, the NZTA will upgrade SH18 to full motorway status including an interchange at the SH18/Northern Motorway intersection. This upgrade will help deliver the benefits of the completed Western Ring Route, and meet the demands of the North Shore's growing population.

When is the harbour bridge authority, or the NZTA, going to put appropriate luminous identifications on the median barrier on the Auckland Harbour Bridge? In wet weather the median barrier is virtually invisible. If the median strip had reflective material it would help drivers have a smoother traffic flow. It is worse than it used to be, as the oncoming headlights are seen above the median strip. Geoff Cooper, Orewa, and Maurice Ellett, Auckland.

Good news. The NZTA tells me that trials are already under way to find a suitable system that will safely identify the barrier in wet weather. A final proposal is expected in the next few weeks and then the agency will upgrade the barrier as quickly as possible after that.

- NZ Herald

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