Safety upgrades mooted

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Safety upgrades ... Areas being targeted for improvement by the NZ Transport Agency.

 

Flexible barriers in the middle of the road, new roundabouts, traffic lights at the Woodend School crossing and changes to speed limits are among ideas proposed to make a high-risk stretch of highway in North Canterbury safer.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released plans to make State Highway 1 between the Ashley River/Rakahuri and Tram Road safer. It wants to know what the public thinks of its proposals.

It also wants feedback on proposed speed-limit changes between Waikuku and Lineside Road. Previous feedback has consistently been that the current speeds feel unsafe.

Agency director of regional relationships Jim Harland says drop-in sessions will be held on Friday, August 9, and Saturday, August 10, for people to give feedback on the proposals.

While SH1 speeds between Waikuku and Lineside Road are being examined, ways to make the road safer north of Waikuku and south of Lineside Road will also be in the spotlight.

Between the Ashley River and Tram Road, eight people died and 41 were seriously injured between 2008 and 2017, with 80 percent of the deaths from head-on crashes. Others were at intersections or from people running off the road.

Mr Harland says locals say they feel unsafe at intersections, even when walking or cycling, because of the speed of traffic.

“The improvements we are looking to make will help prevent these types of crashes from occurring in the future.”

Mr Harland said, after getting feedback from the community late last year, the agency had been working with key stakeholders, such as the Waimakariri District Council, the AA and emergency services to finalise draft plans to make the road safer.

The public has from August 5 until September 6 to give feedback on both the safety proposals and the speed limit.

Mr Harland says the agency will take into account the community’s views before the project team finalises the design and applies for construction funding. People can find out more information, provide feedback and make formal submissions at nzta.govt.nz/a2b/have-your-say.

Drop-in sessions: Friday, August 9, 10am to 1pm, Waikuku Beach Hall; Saturday, August 10, 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Woodend Community Centre.