A new set of traffic lights have been given mixed reviews by Northland residents.

The New Zealand Transport Agency announced on Monday that the intersection of State Highway 14 and Hospital Rd is now fully operational.

On a facebook post on The Northern Advocate facebook page, frequent users of the intersection were divided.

Diane Coleman, who lives on Hospital Rd, was full of praise.


Read more: Far North's first traffic lights up and running

"My kids can get off the school bus and cross the road safely and we can pull on to Maunu road without risking our or someone else's life."

Others said it is causing traffic to back up on Maunu Rd.

Trish Madison said: "Overall the lights have done what we wanted for hospital road traffic, but for the majority of traffic going through, it's added delay into the mix."

A number of people suggested it should have been a roundabout.

Heather Hewitt was one of those. "I use the road several times every day, traffic in the mornings now is an absolute nightmare. Half an hour to get down Maunu road now."

System design manager Brett Gliddon said one of the main objectives for this project was to improve access to the hospital for workers, patients and visitors.

"We considered very carefully the various options for intersection improvements, including a roundabout, and believe traffic signals is the most suitable solution."

He said traffic signals offer the most flexibility to manage traffic flows both along the state highway and to respond to future hospital development.

Mr Gliddon said traffic signals also provide a "controlled" pedestrian crossing, which is safer for pedestrians.

"Regular users of the intersection have been telling us that it's now much easier and safer for them to exit Hospital Rd on to SH14, while the new signalised pedestrian crossings across both State Highway 14 and Hospital Rd are making it safer for those walking."

The painted flush median and cycle lanes were also extended from Silverstream Rd to just past the hospital.

He said traffic signal phasing will be monitored and adjusted to ensure efficient traffic movements from all directions at the intersection.