The NZ Transport Agency is inviting the community to have its say on ways to improve safety on State Highway 1 from the Waitaki River Bridge, north of Oamaru, to Dunedin.
Transport Agency System Manager Graeme Hall says a team will be at the North Otago A&P Show, in Oamaru on Saturday, February 24, to share information on possible safety improvements and get feedback and ideas from the community.
“This is an important stretch of highway. It’s the main link between Christchurch and Dunedin and it provides connections to the North Otago, Central Otago and Waitaki regions,” Mr Hall says.
“Local communities along the route are growing and there are also a number of popular tourist attractions in the area, such as the Moeraki Boulders. It is a busy road and it is important we improve it to reduce the number of people being killed or seriously injured in crashes.”
At the recent East Otago A&P Show*: Barbara Liffiton, of Palmerston and Jude Ritchie, of Karitane. Barbara wanted “signs to encourage tourists to pull over and let people pass them. We also need more directional arrows so they stay on the correct side of the road.”
In the 10 years from 2007 to the end of 2016, 30 people were killed and 112 were seriously injured on the stretch of road.
Most serious crashes involved people losing control of their vehicle, running off the road and crashing into roadside objects such as a tree, fence or ditch, or hitting another vehicle head-on. There have also been a significant number of crashes at intersections on the route.
Mr Hall says possible improvements include putting in safety barriers to stop drivers running off the road into steep gullies and ditches or trees and posts, widening the road shoulder to give drivers more room to recover if they lose control, installing rumble strips to alert drivers if they stray across the centre line, and putting in barriers or wide centre lines to help prevent head-on crashes.
Improving safety at intersections and the speed along the road will also be looked at.
“We want to make sure that when drivers make mistakes they don’t result in someone dying or being seriously injured,” Mr Hall says.
“We have a number of ideas but we really need the community’s help. The local people who use this road and live near it know it better than anyone else. We’re keen to hear their views on how we could make it safer. We had a team at the recent East Otago A&P Show in Palmerston and we got some great feedback. We are hoping to add to that at the North Otago Show,” he says.
“We’d encourage anyone who’s interested to come along and hear more about the project, and have their say. People who can’t make it can still share their views online or by mail until March 3, 2018.”
Project pages and background/ maps:
Have your say short link:
Saturday, 24 February
North Otago A&P Showgrounds
2 Ettrick Street, Oamaru
10am to 4pm