Completion of safety improvement works at Hewletts Road railway pedestrian level crossing


It is now safer for pedestrians and cyclists to use the Hewletts Road railway pedestrian level crossing, following the completion of safety improvements at the busy intersection.

The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA), KiwiRail and Tauranga City Council implemented the improvements following a tragic fatality at the crossing in July involving an 11-year-old student from Mount Maunganui Intermediate School.

Improvements include the installation of a paved and fenced pedestrian maze and additional fencing to prevent crossing at other areas along the track.

“The pedestrian maze is a specially designed walkway to slow people down before they walk over the tracks, prompting them to look up and down the track before crossing,” says David Speirs, Director Regional Relationships for NZ Transport Agency in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

KiwiRail Chief of Operations Siva Sivapakkiam says; “the July event was very traumatic for all those involved, but especially for the whānau.

“This is a busy section of the rail network, and the changes that have been made at the crossing, along with some new fencing along the corridor, will help ensure the safety of the Tauranga community.”

A blessing was held with Ngāti Kuku and Ngāti Tukairanga hapū this morning.

The completion of the short-term safety improvements is not the end of the story.

NZTA, Tauranga City Council and KiwiRail will continue working together on the long-term plan to further increase safety at this railway pedestrian level crossing.

Further improvements to the crossing are proposed in the wider Connecting Mount Maunganui project where NZTA is working with council and iwi partners on solutions to boost more travel choices, improve safety, travel time reliability and environmental outcomes.

“While these solutions all require significant investment and time, we all wanted to do something that would make an immediate improvement to people’s safety at the crossing,” says Mr Speirs. “This pedestrian maze will make a difference.”

The short-term safety improvements were jointly funded with KiwiRail funding the design process and Tauranga City Council and NZTA funding the construction.

Connecting Mount Maunganui project