Public pressure has forced a change to an entrance of a controversial shopping complex in Rotorua.

Rotorua District Council has redesigned the entrance of the Redwood Centre to allow right turns off Tarawera Rd after a large number of complaints.

Work on the new layout should be under way early next year.

Council works manager Peter Dine said the changes resulted from new recommendations made to the council by the developer's traffic consultants after the local authority instigated a review of traffic issues.


"The existing design was recommended by the developer's traffic consultant and accepted by the council's statutory hearings committee with advice from council officers.

"At that time the New Zealand Transport Agency placed some limitations on what the council was able to approve for access into and out of the Redwood Centre site because a number of concerns, including queuing traffic building up and potentially impacting on the roundabout at Te Ngae Rd, a state highway," Mr Dine said.

However, the authority has now accepted the revised traffic arrangements. Mr Dine said traffic generated by the Redwood Centre had been generally consistent with initial projections and for the vast majority of motorists the current arrangement worked well.

"However, in other cases traffic behaviour has demonstrated a consistent lack of compliance with designated entry and exit provisions and the requirements set out on signage," he said.

Businesses in the area have mixed feeling about the decision. Outdoorsman Headquarters managing director Bryan French said it was not ideal, but was the best option available.

"In the end there is no real solution and I don't think it will solve the traffic problem, it was the only option they had left.

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"But it will certainly help those people who have been making an illegal turn into the centre, including council vehicles."

Mr French said the next problem the council would face was even more congestion when the centre was fully occupied.

"I think it's about 60 per cent of maximum right now, when it fills up it will only get worse."

Kiwibikes owner Jeff Anderson said he knew many people who would not drive around the roundabout to use the Te Ngae Rd entrance.

He hopes the right turn would mean there would be more activity in the centre and more customers.

"I think the changes are brilliant, the council may get a Christmas present from me when it happens.

"There will be more customers, less danger and it will be better for everyone."

Mr Anderson said he was surprised there had not been any major accidents at the Tarawera Rd entrance to the site.

"It's a busy place, especially after school," he said.