Recently I have been using the Wellington St on-ramp to travel north. I timed the sequences of the on-ramp traffic lights and found that the phases are 14-15 seconds. This is much longer than I have experienced at other on-ramps. The position is exacerbated in that there is only one lane at the lights, whereas with many other on-ramps, there are two lanes. As a consequence traffic builds up on both sides of Wellington St, with the potential for a serious accident. Why are these lights treated differently? Denis Smith, Auckland.
The Transport Agency says that the Wellington St on-ramp operates as part of a system where each site allows different access volumes depending on network performance. The steep downhill grade of the motorway, combined with high peak-hour flows, means this particular merge area is sensitive to congestion. As the ramp does not provide strategic access from the city to the motorway, it has a lower priority than other ramps from the city, notably Fanshawe St, which has a much higher access priority for northbound traffic. By operating the network through a system approach for groups of ramps, it ensures the throughput on to the motorway network is as high as possible.
Many thanks to the readers who emailed to let us know that the 4.5in gun turret formerly in Neilson St was from HMNZS Taranaki, not the Achilles.
Taranaki was sold to Pacific Steel in 1987 and scrapped in 1988. This explains why the turret ended up in the scrapyard.
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The RNZN still has a 4.5in turret from HMNZS Canterbury that will be mounted for display in the future.
The Achilles turret at the Devonport Naval base is the 6in "Y" turret. Achilles had four 6in twin turrets, A, B, X & Y. The Y turret was the stern-most turret.
The director control tower mounted with the Y turret at the naval base actually controlled the A & B turrets, which were mounted forward of the bridge.
The 6in B turret apparently did go missing in India, but it is not the turret that is owned by Graeme Craw. Graeme has an Achilles 4in twin turret that was possibly fitted to the Achilles at some time after the Battle of the River Plate.
During the Battle of the River Plate, Achilles had four single-barrelled 4in turrets mounted either side of the funnel.