Ilam Road, Middleton Road, Riccarton Road intersection

We're proposing some changes to the Ilam / Middleton / Riccarton intersection to make our roads and footpaths safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. We're keen to hear your thoughts on how we can improve what's proposed.

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 13th February 2019 - 11th March 2019

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Construction start update March 2021 

Work to improve the intersection of Middleton Road, Riccarton Road and Ilam Road – in tandem with building the Nor’West Arc cycleway – starts this month.

The intersection of Middleton Road, Riccarton Road and Ilam Road – ranked the seventh most dangerous in Christchurch – will be upgraded to improve safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

The work includes:

  • Only allowing left-turning traffic to move between Riccarton Road and Middleton Road, which will effectively make the junction of Ilam and Riccarton roads a T-intersection.
  • Altering the layout of the intersection to accommodate dedicated bus lanes.
  • Restricting access at the Field Terrace/Riccarton Road intersection to left in, left out traffic.
  • Creating a new right-turn only lane from Riccarton Road into Wharenui Road.

At the same time, work will continue on the Nor’West Arc cycleway. The new cycleway links cycling routes across the west of the city, running from Princess Margaret Hospital to Papanui. It is a key connector for the west of the city, passing nine schools.

This section runs along Middleton Road between Suva Street and Riccarton Road, and on Ilam Road, between Riccarton Road and University Drive. At University Drive it connects to Uni–Cycle, a cycle route between the University of Canterbury and the central city.

For more information:


Decision made update June 2020

On 12 June, the Council decided to approve the staff recommendation, which is the proposal as originally consulted, including the following changes:

  • Three of the four car parks proposed to be removed outside the Clyde Building (233 and 235 Riccarton Road) will be re-instated.
  • Part time parking for buses will be provided outside Kirkwood intermediate school

The Council made no further changes to the proposal, as explained in this Newsline article(external link).

Council members spent some time considering the project and the Community Board’s amendment to the proposal. The majority then agreed that the improvements to the level of safety for all road users provided by the staff proposal is the main priority at this problematic intersection.


Update January 2020

One hundred and thirty seven individuals or groups provided written comment on this proposal.

You can view the 

Making our roads and footpaths safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

The llam / Middleton / Riccarton intersection is one of the ten most dangerous in Christchurch. It is well known as difficult to negotiate because of the off-set alignment of these three busy roads. 

The existing traffic layout on Riccarton Road causes particular issues for pedestrians, confusion for through and right turning drivers, and conflict between drivers turning right into Ilam Road and those travelling straight ahead in the opposite direction. As a result, there have been many crashes – some of them very serious.

Our traffic engineers looked at 16 different options to reduce the number of serious injuries at this intersection, and reduce the number of crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists. We also considered how we could best maintain network efficiency for public transport along Riccarton Road and, thinking ahead, how we could integrate with two future projects: the Nor'West Arc Major Cycleway and the next stage of Riccarton Road bus priority. Because of the constraints of this area, the analysis and modelling has shown that only one of the 16 options benefits all road users – general traffic, pedestrians, cyclists using the Nor’west Arc cycleway, and bus users.

To make sure the proposed safety improvements are effective, and to keep the traffic flowing along Riccarton Road, we also need to make changes to other intersections in the area. 

We are proposing some vehicle access restrictions to and from Riccarton Road from Middleton Road and from Field Terrace. These changes work together to keep things moving along that stretch of road – if we only make changes to Ilam / Middleton / Riccarton intersection we’ll be impacting on how traffic in general flows, and specifically on how the buses travel. We also need to make some changes to lane lay-out and length near the Clyde/ Wharenui / Riccarton and the Hansons/ Riccarton Waimairi intersections, as well as Ilam/ Riccarton.

Benefits for drivers

  • Improved safety at Ilam Middleton Riccarton
  • intersection
  • Easier right turns from Ilam Road into Riccarton
  • Road, and from Riccarton Road into
    • Ilam Road
    • Waimairi Road
    • Wharenui Road
    • Clyde Road

Benefits for cyclists

The intersections include facilities for the NorWest Arc Major Cycle Route that extends from Cashmere to Papanui.

All Major Cycleways are designed to cater for people on bikes aged between 8 and 80 years. This proposal meets these requirements including:

  • Full turning protection for cyclists.
  • Cycle signal crossing phases across Riccarton Road.
  • Cycle crossing facility at the Riccarton Road intersection with Ilam road.
  • A transition across the intersection from the two-way cycleway on Middleton Road to separated lanes on either side of Ilam Road.

Benefits for bus users

  • General improvements to traffic flow.
  • Changes to lanes and layout in preparation for future bus lanes

Benefits for pedestrians

  • Improved safety and access.
  • New pedestrian crossing facilities at Middleton/Riccarton.
  • Shared cycle/pedestrian refuge island across Middleton.
  • A pedestrian refuge island at the Field Terrace/ Riccarton Road intersection.
  • More compact and easier to negotiate signalised crossings across Riccarton Road at Ilam and Middleton.
  • Removal of slip lanes to make it safer to cross at the Ilam/Riccarton intersection.
  • More footpath space at the Ilam / Riccarton intersection as a result of removing the slip lanes.

Key features

Intersection location

  • Changing the Ilam Road / Riccarton intersection to a T intersection that will no longer include Middleton Road
  • Restricting Riccarton Road access to and from Middleton Road to left in and left out. A traffic island physically enforces this restriction.
  • Narrowing Middleton Road at the intersection with Riccarton Road to allow more footpath space for pedestrians.
  • Removing the left turn slip lanes from Ilam Road into Riccarton Road to allow more footpath space for pedestrians.
  • A west-bound bus lane for buses and cyclists is used as a left turn lane for vehicles wanting to turn into Middleton Road after the intersection with Ilam Road and Riccarton Road. This lane is signed ‘Left lane left turn only except buses and cyclists‘.
  • An eastbound left turn lane into Ilam road designed to allow the buses to go straight through and allowing them to jump the traffic queue. This lane is signed ‘Left lane left turn only except buses and cyclists’.
  • A pedestrian refuge island on Middleton Road at Riccarton Road to replace the signalised crossing in the current intersection layout.
  • A pedestrian/cycle shared refuge island on Middleton Road for cyclists crossing Middleton Road.
  • Four parking spaces removed between the corner of Riccarton Road and the driveway entrance to 7 Middleton Road on the eastern side, to allow room for the shared cycle and pedestrian path,
  • Four parking spaces included to offset the four to be removed for the shared path
    • Two spaces south of the driveway entrance to 7 Middleton Road - previously to be removed for the Major Cycle Route.
    • Two new indented spaces on the western side of Middleton Road near the corner with Riccarton Road - currently No Stopping.
  • Field Terrace vehicle access is restricted to left in left out at Riccarton Road on Field Terrace. This is to discourage traffic from shortcutting through the street to avoid the restricted turns into and out of Middleton Road.
  • There is a refuge island for pedestrians to use to get across Field Terrace at Riccarton Road
  • A raised platform on Middleton Road at the intersection will limit the speed of vehicles turning left into the street from Riccarton Road.
  • Four parking spaces need to be removed outside 291 and 293 Riccarton Road because space is needed for the new road layout.

When we consulted on the Nor'west Arc Major Cycleway we didn’t include plans for what would happen in the Ilam / Middleton / Riccarton intersection. This is because we knew further work was required to ensure the plans for this intersection took into consideration benefits for and safety of all road users.

Intersection location

  1. The eastern approach right turn lane from Riccarton Road into Clyde Road is extended from the existing 15 metres to 55 metres. Four parking spaces on the south side of Riccarton Road at 233 - 235, at the Euston Street corner need to be removed to allow enough road space for this.
  2. The western approach is changed from a through lane and shared through and right turn lane to a through lane and a dedicated right turn lane. Three parking spaces on the north side of Riccarton road at 262 and 264 Riccarton Road near the Kirkwood Intermediate School entrance need to be removed to allow for this.

Intersection location

  1. The right turn bay into Waimairi Road from Riccarton Road has been extended to 48 metres from the existing 30 metre length.

Information sessions
Come talk to us about the proposal

Tuesday 19 February from 3.00pm to 5.00pm
Crockfords Bridge Club, 218 Riccarton Road


Wednesday 27 February from 4.30pm to 6.30pm
Crockfords Bridge Club, 218 Riccarton Road

There is parking behind the building

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Who to contact

How the decision is made

  • Decision made