Fresh round of consultation for revamped safety plans south of Timaru


A revamped package of safety interventions for SH1 from Timaru to St Andrews is opening for public input from today.

The plan is in response to public feedback on the original safety proposal for the high-crash section of highway, with all changes reviewed by safety engineers, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

The new plan features open intersections, stretches of highway with wide-centreline, reduced areas with median barrier compared to the original design, possible speed reductions, and more opportunities for people to pull over and let others pass.

There have been five crashes which resulted in deaths and 16 which resulted in serious injury on this relatively short, 12.5km stretch of highway, from 2013 and including 2023 to date.

Feedback from the community on the optimum safety solution was sought in May/June this year and has now been considered alongside technical assessments.

“We appreciated all the feedback received which has led to adjustments to the plan more designed to support the growing agricultural community in South Canterbury,” says Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships James Caygill.

“The team is now ready to share updated plans with the community so any last refinements can be considered before finalising the high-level design. A community drop-in session is planned for the end of September in Pareora for people who want to go over what is being proposed in person before they respond formally.

“We’ve taken on-board community feedback to date, tested our thinking with people who use the road regularly and have made changes we think people are going to like.

“These changes are designed to retain local access and support growth, while still making it safer for people travelling through, crossing the highway and getting on and off at key locations.”

Mr Caygill says while people will not always agree on every aspect of the plan, it’s important to try and strike a balance which still improves the highway’s safety for everyone – local people, business and freight operators and travellers. Emergency services’ access is an essential consideration.

“SH1 is the freight backbone of the South Island. There are lots of different people using the highway for different reasons. 

“As well as aiming to reduce the number of people being killed and seriously injured on this busy stretch of highway, the upgrade will mean highway travel is more consistent, reliable and predictable.” 

Mr Caygill encourages everyone with an interest in the South Canterbury highway to take a fresh look at the plans. “Let us know if there are any last things we should consider before moving to the next project phase.”

The main changes in the plan include:

  • Breaks in the median barrier with wide centrelines so all intersections can stay open 
  • Where there is no median barrier, there will be 1.5 metre centrelines
  • Added stopping bays so larger and slow-moving vehicles can pull over to let others pass
  • Shorter distances between turning opportunities – around 1 km apart instead of 2.3km to 3.6km
  • Retaining some property access
  • Potential speed reductions at key locations*
  • Removal of the proposed roundabout at Beaconsfield Road (turnaround no longer required)
  • Roadside shoulders will be widened and strengthened the length of the corridor
  • Private driveways and access ways will be left-in/left-out. Turnaround locations for safe right-turn access onto the highway, as shown on the map.
  • All intersections will be assessed for potential upgrades such as new or improved left-turn lanes and right-turn bays.

The team has published an updated project map (indicative only at this stage) and a project backgrounder which explains why the work is underway and the community engagement summary outlining the earlier feedback and how Waka Kotahi is responding.

Visit the project webpage for this information and responses to frequently asked questions.

SH1 Timaru to St Andrews safety improvements

To help people provide feedback, there is another community drop-in session so people can pop in, see the updated plan and ask questions.

Date: Thursday, 28 September
Time: Anytime between 4:30 and 6:30pm
Location: Pareora Country Club, 30 Queen Street, Pareora

People are invited to email their feedback to by Sunday, 8 October 2023.

  • The estimated $30 million worth of safety improvements included in this plan contribute towards the New Zealand road safety strategy target of a 40 percent reduction in deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2030.

Speed limits

Once we have finalised the high-level infrastructure design, we’ll undertake a speed review of the corridor to recommend the safe and appropriate speed limits.

Key locations are the final stretch of highway into Timaru and Pareora.

Deciding speed limits is a legal process. Any changes will be publicly consulted on in the 2024-2027 State Highway Speed Management Plan, early 2024.

Visit the project page for more information.

SH1 Timaru to St Andrews safety improvements