Welcome Bay Lane will reopen to cars more than a year after it was closed due to safety concerns.

The lane, which has been closed since September 2018 after significant concerns for cyclist safety, will reopen to cars this Sunday.

The previous mayor and councillors approved a solution to address the safety issues which would allow Welcome Bay Lane to reopen. The lane will still be off-limits for heavy-duty vehicles including trucks, buses and other larger vehicles.

What's happened?

The kerb line at the entrance of lane has been built out to limit the size of vehicles that can access the lane and slow down vehicles turning into the lane.

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How to use the new road lay-out. Photo / Supplied
How to use the new road lay-out. Photo / Supplied

A traffic calming device, known as a 'speed cushion', has been installed to slow vehicles down before the cycle crossing near the entry to the lane.

The lane exit to Welcome Bay Rd has been upgraded to allow left-turning vehicles to more easily access Greenwood Park.

Welcome Bay ward councillor Bill Grainger was pleased to see the lane opening to cars again as the "majority of the community wanted this lane reopened."

"It will not be the silver bullet, but it will hopefully contribute to improved safety and better traffic flow on this part of our network," he said.

The mayor and councillors unanimously decided to work with the safest solution presented by Aurecon, an independent consultancy firm.

The improvements have been audited by an independent safety consultant in collaboration with Tauranga City Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and have been specifically designed to improve safety at the entry and exit points of Welcome Bay Lane.

How to use the new road lay-out

Heavy-duty vehicles still needed to use the signalised intersection on Welcome Bay Rd.

People on bikes are advised to divert left off Welcome Bay Rd and use a new shared path and safe crossing point located along Welcome Bay Lane.

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More confident cyclists would likely continue to use Welcome Bay Rd.

The Tauranga City Council has reminded motorists to indicate early and look out for cyclists as cyclists have right of way.