The roundabout metering lights at Barkes Corner roundabout in Tauranga are operational but likely will not be activated until this afternoon.

From today, the queue-activated lights were expected to signal red and amber to motorists in an effort to better manage the huge amount of traffic that flows through the Pyes Pa Rd, State Highway 29A and Cameron Rd intersection.

A reporter at the scene this morning said there were brown paper bags, yellow tarpaulin and brown cardboard covering the lights with signs stating the signals were not working.

"As I was approaching there was a flashing electric sign saying 'stop at the signals'. Then I drove up and saw the signals are not working."

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The reporter said traffic was still flowing smoothly.

New Zealand Transport Agency system management manager for Bay of Plenty Rob Campbell said the intention was to switch the system on after the morning peak.

He said the lights were now operational but were unlikely to be activated until this afternoon's peak.

The trial of the new lights was to be introduced after lights signalling green caused confusion to motorists, resulting in crashes on the first few days at the intersection.

The green lights were taken down just days after installation in September. Read more here.