Q: The new Upper Harbour Bridge near Greenhithe is finished and open, but now the old one has closed. Why? David Williams, Mt Eden.

A: The capacity of both the bridges together, with three uphill lanes towards Greenhithe and two downhill, is too much for the road to cope with at present. When the Greenhithe upgrade is finished, scheduled for 2007-08, all the lanes on both bridges will be opened. In the meantime, Transit is using the time to make repairs to the old bridge, by trying to reduce the sagging effect caused by tensioning cables when the bridge was built 30-odd years ago.

Q: The intersection of Sandringham and Walters Rds is particularly dangerous. Cars waiting to turn right from Walters to Sandringham nose out to see oncoming traffic, thereby putting themselves in the way of that very traffic. Cars line up to turn right from Sandringham to Walters, and try to second-guess the left-turning traffic. Does the council have any plans to improve this intersection? Alice Bulmer, Sandringham.

A: Yes, they do. The traffic engineers have already investigated this corner, and work to make it safer will start in the 2006-07 financial year.


Q: Why can't the council allow motorcycles to use the bus lanes on the Northwestern Motorway? I'm not one of those who likes to zip in and out of traffic down the middle lane, but I would like to cut my fuel bill. Mark Jefferies, Auckland.

A: Not a council issue, Mark. The motorways are administered by Transit NZ, and their view is that motorcycles would not be safe among the fast-moving buses. Also it would rather defeat the aim of keeping the bus lanes congestion-free.

Q: The Road Code says that "if there is no raised traffic island, give way to pedestrians on any part of the crossing". Does this mean that even if the pedestrian is on the far side of the crossing from you, the driver, and walking away from your car, that you have to wait until they have reached the opposite footpath before you move off? D. Bidwell, Auckland.

A: No. If you read further, it says "Give way means having slowed down or stopped for a pedestrian, you may proceed if the person has crossed in front of your vehicle and is clear of it, and there is no one else on the crossing coming towards your vehicle".