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Timaru and Fairlie getting safer highway crossing points

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The NZ Transport Agency is about to begin building two new safer crossing points for pedestrians in Fairlie, Mackenzie District, and Timaru, South Canterbury. Work on the Fairlie pedestrian island starts after Queen’s Birthday weekend. Work on the Timaru crossing starts 13 June.

The Fairlie crossing point is on State Highway 8, Main Street, and the Timaru crossing point is on State Highway 1 just south of the Theodosia/Dee Street intersection.

This work has been initiated in conjunction with the South Canterbury Road Safety Liaison Group comprising representatives from the Transport Agency and Timaru, Mackenzie and Waimate District Councils. The group was concerned that there were not enough pedestrian islands in some places. The two sites in Timaru and Fairlie have the highest priority. 

“In conjunction with the local Council representatives, the Transport Agency consults with the local community prior to doing this work which is generally well supported,” said Highway Manager Colin Knaggs.  “This consultation includes the Road Transport Association, the Heavy Haulage Association, AA, the Police and other relevant groups.”

 Background to the pedestrian traffic island installations

  • Each of these safer crossing points will be similar to those already constructed on the Mid and South Canterbury state highway network, eg SH1 at Winchester and SH8 at Pleasant Point completed last year.
  • Each of the crossings is designed to make a safer crossing point with a pedestrian island for people walking and crossing with bikes on the busy state highway routes.
  • They are also helpful for school children, elderly people, parents with buggies and for those on mobility scooters to safely cross the highway.
  • The design and location of each is carefully chosen to ensure the installation does not create a new hazard for road users and that adequate lane width is maintained so heavy vehicles can easily pass through.
  • The installations deliberately create a ‘pinch point’ or a perceptual visual narrowing of the road width which helps encourage drivers to slow down.
  • There are drop crossings at each footpath on either side of the road as well as a central pedestrian refuge/island.
  • The islands have a directional arrow at each end to alert motorists and to help them to keep left, clear around the refuge and a resting rail to allow cyclists to stop alongside.
  • Yellow tactile warning indicator strips are also laid on the surface to assist the visually impaired.
  • Painted white lines are on either side of the installation to help safely guide motorists through the area.
  • As each facility is installed, road users will be alerted to the construction works by temporary traffic management signage and equipment.

Working on the highway is a challenging environment. The Transport Agency thanks all drivers for slowing down around road crews installing these crossing points.

An existing pedestrian island on State Highway 1, in Temuka, South Canterbury.

An existing pedestrian island on State Highway 1, in Temuka, South Canterbury.

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