It’s been long time coming, but Greater Christchurch takes full possession of a very welcome Christmas present this morning. Yes, the Christchurch Northern Corridor, the CNC, is finally and fully open. Am I excited or what?
To put this in an Auckland context, this magnificent new ribbon of motorway is a bit like adding another harbour crossing.
The recently completed Western Corridor and the expanded Southern Motorway - two other Roads of National Significance - have dramatically enhanced journey times, particularly for commuters and cargo.
What I love about the CNC is that it disperses traffic across a variety of purpose-built routes, whether you’re hauling freight to Lyttleton, or you’re a North Canterbury commuter, bound for the city via Cranford St. That’s its beauty; a stress-busting circuit breaker, blitzing the reliance on the Main North Road and Marshland Road to service spewing traffic demand.
Commuters now have a sexy new route option. And as much as I am car-centric, the corridor is flanked by a massive shared walking and cycling path. The NZTA seems to think a lot of people might walk from Rangiora to Christchurch - bless them.
The only bum note ahead of today’s opening is the city council’s eleventh-hour sabotage. As part of the corridor construction, Cranford Street has been dramatically widened. But because the council is infested with so many anti-car fascists, they have banned motorists from using all four lanes on Cranford Street, which feeds onto the corridor.
A key chunk of the street has had those lanes reserved exclusively for buses. They weren’t even prepared to make them T2 lanes, because of their loathing of cars. I watched this council meeting, and it was like Meet the Glums.
Councillors bemoaned how the CNC would unleash a car invasion on the city. But despite their best efforts to ankle-tap, swift, efficient traffic flow, the CNC love affair will be instant. I’m just sad that it’s the last Road of National Significance we’re likely to see built in the Mainland for a very long time. And that's very sad news.