The temporary closure of a popular shortcut used by "rat-runners" to avoid traffic jams on 15th Ave has been labelled a "half-baked" idea.

Motorists have been entering Turret Rd via 14th Ave to avoid congestion on 15th Ave.

It has led to complaints from frustrated motorists that cars using the route were disrupting the flow of traffic when they tried to enter Turret Rd.

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In response to those complaints, the Tauranga City Council has announced the 14th Ave exit onto Turret Rd will be closed for six weeks from Monday as part of a trial.

Transportation manager Martin Parkes acknowledged many motorists would still use Burrows St or Grace Rd but said the aim of the trial was to primarily survey the impact rather than immediately alleviating congestion.

"The information we gather will ultimately go into the planning and decision making around what we do to improve the 15th Ave corridor."

Mr Parkes said it was likely the council would permanently close 14th Ave at Turret Rd but planned for community consultation in February with information from the trial before making a decision.

The council will monitor the impact via cameras at key intersections.

Avenues Residents Association spokesman Phil Green said the once tranquil neighbourhood had become a race track at peak times.

However, the closure would make little difference, he said, because motorists would still travel through the 14th Ave and other nearby streets to access 15th Ave from Burrows St, he said.

"I don't think they've thought it through far enough," he said.

He wanted to see pinch-points constructed on 14th Ave and surrounding streets to better deter rat-runners, but doubted anything would change until 15th Ave and Turret Rd were widened.

"It's got to be four-laned from the expressway highway all the way down and through to the Welcome Bay intersection."

Hori Leaming, who campaigned on the issue in recent local body elections, described the closure as a "half-baked idea".

Mr Leaming, who lives in Welcome Bay, said the council needed to stop researching the problem and " get on and do the job".

Unless a traffic light intersection was introduced at Burrows St, the closure of 14th Ave would only make matters worse, he said.

"All they are doing is shifting the mayhem from Turret Rd to Burrows St."

Mr Leaming had little faith in any progress on the issue.

"I'd like to be proven wrong but this road has been an absolute necessity for 15 years and they've done nothing."

TCC Transport Committee chairman Rick Curach said he believed the closure would help stop the break in flow on 15th Ave and he was interested in seeing the results of the trial.

The facts:
The 14th Ave/Turret Rd exit lane will be closed temporarily from Monday, October 16. This will be a six-week trial while the Tauranga City Council collects data to help assess options for any permanent changes.