Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Journey Home

Auckland is dominated by a motorway system.
Although New Zealand has not quite learnt the correct way to handle a large mass of traffic but they are trying.
Having come from Europe myself, I have seen large systems in place and know how they should work!

Coming home we went past a huge amount of roadworks, now I know this was to be expected as it was almost midnight on a Sunday night, so they don't expect a lot of traffic and thus making it a prime time to fix roads.
However not long out of town we got dropped from 3 lanes down to 1, this was because they were preparing for the work they were going to do later. It caused a lot of traffic build up. In my eyes they could so easily have waited half an hour, let the majority of the concert traffic go past on the motorway and then set up their cones without too much disruption!
I know the concert didn't cause that much traffic but it definitely caused more than your usual amount at this time on a Sunday evening.

However the best was yet to come.
Just as we were getting to the main out of South Auckland suburd area we got warned that the motorway ahead was closed and therefore we were getting diverted off the motorway.
I quickly worked out where we were and reassured Steve that this was actually an easy detour because they could take us off at the junction, take us cross country and bring us back on 2 junctions south. It meant a little detour through Takanini and Papakura but would only add an extra 10 mins at most. I didn't however actually know how to do the route so we followed the detour signs like good people.
So we followed the detour through Takanini and into Papakura. At the main lights in town this convoy of traffic (about 30-40 odd cars) turned right and then left and then left again and then surprise surprise left again, suddenly we were going back down where we had come from!
Steve questioned this but this was exactly what the signs had said.
We then turned left again a little further down the road and we guessed that they had wanted to keep the traffic flowing so had you do this crazy loop around Papakura centre.
However then suddenly we were at a set of lights and back in the centre of town again.
I very quickly realised, as did all the other traffic that if we followed the signs we would happily spend midnight going in a loop around Papakura.

Now you have to remember that most of the people in this convoy were trying to go south out of Auckland and for most this area was somewhere they had never been before, so here we are at midnight stuck in the centre of a town that we don't know with no idea as to which way the motorway was.

So I did the next best thing, I got my mobile out and called *555 which takes you through to the transport police. I happily explained the situation and told them they had better get someone into Papakura PDQ as there was a convoy of very annoyed travellers just trying to get home.
He guessed someone had been playing with the signs and said they would get it looked at.
We told him where we were currently sitting and he happily directed us to the motorway on ramp, which was still 2ks away from where we were!
By the time we got to the motorway, we were actually the only car out there, so what happened to the other 30-40 I have no idea, probably still going round and round Papakura town centre.

Luckily for us from there it was a free drive home for the next hour with no more troubles or roadworks!

1 comment:

Alison said...

This made me smile, but I guess YOU weren't smiling at the time!
Alison xx