10 Feb 2009

Toll road a success, says agency

9:15 am on 10 February 2009

The Transport Agency has pledged to work harder to help motorists who are having difficulty using the Northern Gateway toll road, north of Auckland.

However it says the huge number of people choosing to use bypass shows the road does work, despite criticism of congestion and payment problems.

Traffic jams and long queues at payment booths have at times blighted the $365 million Orewa bypass on State Highway 1, since it opened on 25 January.

Motorist Pat Booth says the agency failed to anticipate the number of people who may not have had a credit card nor paid online, and wanted to pay cash at the kiosks.

Transport Agency regional director Wayne McDonald said 74,000 vehicles used the road at Waitangi weekend.

Mr McDonald said despite initial teething problems the bypass is a success, and the huge use of the road speaks for itself.

However he said the agency will work harder at trying to help people who have any sort of challenge with the system.

Mr McDonald said Monday was the busiest day so far, and the system performed well despite the pressure it faced.