Drivers have forcibly removed a council-imposed closure to recreate a popular shortcut at one of Tauranga city's worst congestion spots.

The bollards were put in place to close the Turret Rd end of 14th Ave on Monday. The closure was part of a Tauranga City Council six-week trial to measure the impact of congestion in the 15th Ave area.

The eastern end of 14th Ave had become a popular shortcut for drivers avoiding heavy congestion on 15th Ave. Ironically, the back-log of traffic was often caused by motorists letting people in from 14th Ave/Turret Rd and Burrows St, transportation manager Martin Parkes said.

He said the council was aware the bollards had been moved overnight Thursday and were put back in place by council contractors yesterday morning.


"We are keeping an eye on it. When I went through, they were okay."

Mr Parkes said the intersection was monitored via cameras and he and staff would be "watching very closely" and following up on anyone spotted removing the bollards.

Mr Parkes said he was not surprised.

"I've done these sorts of projects before and there are some people who just don't like change.

"The first week has been as expected - a lot more vehicles using Burrows St but overall we've had a mixed bag of feedback from the community between those people very happy with it and those unhappy."

Mr Parkes said he expected some motorists would change their driving times and routes within the next few weeks to avoid the "traffic shockwave".

Traffic backs up on 15th Ave the first day of a trial closing the 14th Ave/Turret Rd intersection. Photo/file
Traffic backs up on 15th Ave the first day of a trial closing the 14th Ave/Turret Rd intersection. Photo/file

Avenues Residents Association spokesman Phil Green said the removal of the bollards was amusing.

"It's the cheeky nature of most New Zealanders. It's people saying, 'You are not achieving a hell of a lot by closing that off.'

"People are still going to use Burrows St."

Mr Green anticipated the trial would highlight other traffic issues around the city.

"We are already seeing the traffic backing up a little bit more than before but one of the things that is still quite prevalent is most drivers in Tauranga are courteous and let people in. But we have quite a major problem with traffic, not just on 15th but throughout [the city].

"We've got a city that's growing very, very quickly. We've got new people coming into town but our roading isn't keeping up."

The trial closure will allow the council to collect data to help assess options for any permanent changes in the area to help with congestion.