Frustrated former planner reckons replacing lights with two roundabouts will fix traffic nightmare. Read about his idea and your reaction to it

One man thinks he's found the solution to a dreaded pinchpoint for traffic heading north of Auckland - bulldoze the lights and put in two roundabouts.

Former infrastructure planner Grant McLachlan has come up with an idea to fix the notorious Warkworth intersection, which averages almost 20,000 vehicles travelling through it each day.

The junction, where State Highway 1 meets Hill St, has cars crossing from six directions and causes queues for kilometres. While taking almost an hour to travel 4km on Matakana Rd, Mr McLachlan had time to work out how to solve his frustrations and last week starting planning.

Here are your reactions to the plan.


It is sad that some logic appears missing in the NZTA response by Brett Giddon. Consents and approvals are administrative matters take time as always, possibly they could be fast tracked as unlikely any opposition to any improvements. However, the construction required does not in all honesty look that major. Is the response just another case of "I never thought if it and we already have our plans in place, so we are not interested in any other options.". This is the bureaucracy operating at its worst. This intersection requires a quick solution, 2021 does not meet the definition of quick.
- Dennis Pahl

I think it is a reasonable idea but comes with problems. There are a lot of people who have difficulty at roundabouts in knowing what to do and when to drive off or give way. This fact still creates a build up of traffic and frustration for other drivers. However on the upside it has been shown that roundabouts can in the long run shorten wait times and improve traffic flow.
- Noel Jacson

Waiting, putting off until after the extension of the Northern Motorway seems like burying ones head in the sand. At least this latest idea is worth trying. By bulldozing the present set up and by the use of temporary traffic barriers the difficulty of this major traffic crossroads could better managed. After being held up between Sharps Road and Warkworth on the Leigh-Matakana Road for over an hour I now avoid travelling at certain times on weekends. Traffic volumes will ultimately rise before the Northern Motorway roadworks are started never mind completed. It is a nightmare at the moment where it is difficult to show courtesy to others when there is real pressure behind one to push through. Thank goodness though that most drivers show some restraint in very difficult circumstances.
- Graham Jamieson

I think a flyover is the answer. You gotta think ahead!
- Ali Khan

Could not agree more - you can sit and sit in a huge queue here on SH1, even at 10am on a weekday. The Transport people who have spent millions in recent years putting wider footpaths and more traffic lights into Warkworth have not improved things at all. Perhaps the money and consumer disruption that went on that would have been better applied to a solution like this.
- Susan Brookes

I was a traffic officer at Wellsford from 1974 onwards and the problems with the Hill St intersection was raised then. During the early 1980s I suggested that roundabouts would solve the problem at the intersection, but I was told that it would encroach onto the land known as the Shoesmith Domain and the council at the time would not hear of it, consequently nothing was done and here we are 30+ years later still having problems!!
- A.M.Siret

Well done Grant McLachlan, It's such an obvious solution to the problem, and we've known for years that two roundabouts would solve the traffic jams. Why the NZ Transport Agency are so stubborn and unwilling to implement this solution I'll never know. The money they've wasted on installing and upgrading traffic lights over the years would have paid the costs of installing the roundabouts and we could have had free flowing traffic all this time. At last someone has had the common sense to design it for all to see, and if the manager of the Transport Agency still refuses, then he should be sacked and replaced with someone like Grant who possesses good common sense.
- Graeme Smith

A flyover for route one would solve the problem in the best manner but would likely cost more. The roundabout at the Sandspit/ Snells intersection should have been done years ago. I thought there was a plan to move the whole highway to the west for the same reason. My solution or the dual roundabout solution would certainly be cheaper and less damaging to the land.
- James


What a fantastic solution! Do it now Auckland Transport - PLEASE!
- Paul