Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Spiral markings but motorists perplexed

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NZTA explanation of spiral markings on Oropi Rd/SH2 roundabout.
NZTA explanation of spiral markings on Oropi Rd/SH2 roundabout.

An explanation has been given for the new markings on a Tauranga roundabout but drivers are still left scratching their heads.

Recently the Bay of Plenty Times reported the new markings painted on the roundabout where Oropi Rd meets State Highway 29 had been described as "confusing" and "potentially dangerous" by a concerned driver.

New Zealand Transport Agency said the new line markings were put in place in response to feedback from the community about near misses at the roundabout.

"These markings are known as spiral markings.

"They are designed to guide drivers into the outside lane when going around the roundabout and alert approaching drivers to give way," a NZTA spokeswoman said.

The problem with the roundabout came to the attention of the transport agency when a number of drivers called in to say that drivers approaching the limit line were not giving way, as required, to vehicles circulating on the roundabout.

A driver who uses the roundabout, but wished to remain unnamed, said the markings still caused confusion for him.

Bay of Plenty Driving School instructor Jeroen van der Beek said the markings made only partial sense.

"I can see the logic on the spirals but only for vehicles turning right off the state highway on to Oropi Rd. It throws you to the left lane to exit.

"But it doesn't take into account people coming from the other roads. It confuses drivers, especially coming to the roundabout for the first time, on what they should do.

"Coming from Oropi Rd on to the roundabout you have no idea if you should follow the lines and get thrown to the outside or cross traffic and stay on the inside," Mr van der Beek said.

"If I was coming from Oropi Rd I would probably go on to the outside circle, but once I had studied them I would probably ignore them and stay on the inside."

He said it was not clear what the designers wanted.

"It solves a small issue but creates a bigger one."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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