Last updated 19 December 2023



Why has the zebra crossing been removed and how do I cross the highway?

The new traffic signals to be built next year will provide a much safer pedestrian crossing than the zebra crossing which was to be removed as part of the Waka Kotahi Tinwald Corridor Improvements project. The zebra crossing is being removed sooner than planned to ensure safe access to the new NPD service station. While not part of the Tinwald Corridor Improvements Project, in the meantime a new pedestrian refuge is being built on SH1, opposite the RV Centre in the block between Graham St and Jane St. The new pedestrian refuge is permanent and is being built in addition to the Tinwald Corridor Improvements safe signalised pedestrian crossing to be installed at the SH1/Lagmhor/Agnes Street intersection around mid-next year. This signalised pedestrian crossing will be the safest place for people to cross and will be encouraged as the safe route to school – via Agnes and Thomson Streets.

What changes did you make as a result of community engagement?

Following engagement, the project team reviewed plans for Tinwald and undertook further analysis with a focus on:

  • safe road crossing points
  • improved safety for people on bikes
  • road design and street environment
  • impacts on parking
  • providing for large vehicles, including agricultural vehicles
  • making it safer for people using the viaduct.

Some key changes as a result of community feedback include:

  • removing the raised safety platform at the intersection (due to concerns about noise, impacts on trucks and vehicles with trailers)
  • refining the intersection and optimizing the signal design
  • improvements to walking and cycling facilities to school, along Melcombe Street and under the rail viaduct through to the Ashburton River Bridge.

Read the engagement report [PDF, 936 KB]

More recently, we’ve updated the design at the Melcombe Street viaduct. The project had originally proposed to restrict turning movements in and out of the viaduct, however this has been revised and all turning movements will now be retained.

This revision addresses concerns that the proposed turning restrictions would contribute to an increase in traffic at Comptons Crossing (the level crossing mid-way between Lagmhor Road and the viaduct).

The design still includes a shared path under the viaduct to improve safety for people walking and cycling.

Why are the traffic lights at Agnes Street instead of Graham Street?

A key reason for this project is making it easier for people to turn right onto and get across the highway between west and east Tinwald residential areas. The Agnes St/Lagmhor Rd route is the safest and most direct connection between west and east Tinwald, and offers a safer right turn option for people from the eastern side, including from Lake Hood Area. Graham St does not offer that same direct connection but  the Graham St right turn bay will be upgraded and the new Agnes St/Lagmhor Rd signals will create more gaps in the traffic for people wanting to turn to and from Lake Hood. Also, it will be much easier for Tinwald people to visit local shops and businesses over the highway, instead of going all the way to Ashburton.

How will the changes make it easier to get on and off the highway?

While the traffic signals at Agnes Street will provide the safest right turning option, people will still want to turn at other places, especially Wilkin Street. A widened highway centre (flush) median between Agnes Street and Carters Terrace will make turning on and off the highway safer and easier. The centre flush median will make it safer to turn right onto the highway as it provides a half-way point to wait until it is safe to merge into the flow of traffic. See below for information on how to use a flush median. (We will have more information for people on how to use the new road layout when construction is nearing completion).

How to use a flush median

Traffic wanting to turn right onto the highway from Graham Street will be encouraged (through new road signs) to use McMurdo Street and the traffic signals at Agnes Street as the safest and more reliable access onto the highway. (We understand that some motorists may prefer to use Graham Street for right turns which is fine. The new signals will help to create gaps which will make these turns easier.)

How have the signals allowed for traffic at this busy intersection?

The signals will mean more reliable access from the side roads – both here and at nearby intersections by creating gaps in state highway traffic. Detailed traffic counts were undertaken at the intersections with Graham Street and Agnes Street to inform the typical future peak hour traffic volumes at the signals. These took into account future land development and baseline traffic growth, as well rerouting to Agnes Street to use the new signals. The design was carefully optimised to share the signals ‘green time’ between the busy state highway and side road traffic.

As is normally done, many phasing and layout options were tested to minimise delay across road users, and provide safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. This has led to identifying the optimal signal phasing to achieve acceptable performance. The state highway traffic will have the majority of the ‘green time’ with the main phase, and the side road traffic will share a phase. The signals were optimised within the available footprint. The turning bays have been designed for peak hour queuing and vehicle tracking.

The signals include new CCTV cameras and a remote connection to the traffic operations centre for monitoring. Upon opening, the normal signal commissioning will be undertaken, and this will include fine-tuning the controller settings as appropriate for efficiency. A key safety aspect at this site is that the limit line on Lagmhor Road will be moved to be before the rail line, to avoid queues across the tracks. We’ve allowed for the extra time to move up to the state highway and to clear the intersection. The signals are linked to the rail signalling, and will change to a special rail phase when an approaching train is detected.

How will these upgrades improve road safety?

The signalised intersection will provide dedicated gaps in the traffic flow that help vehicles to turn safely and will provide safer and better crossing facilities for people walking and cycling.

How will speeds be managed on McMurdo Street and Agnes Street to keep the streets safe with the higher traffic volumes?

Road marking and layout will be designed to create a safe speed environment.

Why is there no slip lane for left turns from Lagmhor Road?

A left-turn slip lane could’ve been an option if traffic signals weren’t being installed however, a slip lane with signals would be less safe. This is because drivers typically turn with higher speed leaving less time to judge whether they need to give way, making it less safe for people travelling through on SH1.

Why is there no separate left turn lane on Agnes Street? Cars going straight will get stuck behind left turning cars waiting for pedestrians and cyclists to cross?

There is limited space available to provide additional lanes on Agnes Street. When the signals go green a left turning vehicle can enter SH1 and then wait for pedestrians, leaving space for straight through movements to move around waiting left turning vehicles. Given the low traffic volumes, the plan is to share the left through lane.

What improvements are being made at the rail level crossing?

The traffic signals will be linked to the level crossing bells so that cars will be able to clear the level crossing and other will not be able to turn into Lagmhor Road while a train is approaching. The rail crossing will have an additional CCTV camera to monitor traffic conditions remotely to enable refinement of the signal operation if necessary. The road surface surrounding the rail crossing will be painted with ‘keep clear’ hatching. Automatic gates will be added to help protect cyclists and pedestrians using the crossing.

Previously we heard about a roundabout at the Graham Street / SH1 intersection. Why has the plan changed?

A roundabout at Graham Street would primarily serve Lake Hood traffic, and it would have required land from rail and businesses to build. The project focus has shifted towards improving community connection between west and east residential areas in Tinwald for people in vehicles, riding bikes and walking. New Zealand Upgrade Programme has provided funding for signals at SH1/Lagmhor Road/Agnes Street to make movements to, from and across SH1 safer and easier for all road users, including safe access to Tinwald school. The focus is safer access for everyone be they between east and west Tinwald or from Lake Hood.

How will it be easier to get to and from Lake Hood?

The improvements will make it safer and easier for Lake Hood traffic to cross and get onto the highway.

Travelling north along SH1 to Lake Hood, an enhanced right turn bay from the highway will make it easier to access Graham Street, plus the new signals will create more gaps in the traffic and opportunities to cross.

Northbound traffic on Graham Street from Lake Hood is encouraged to  turn right onto McMurdo Street, then left onto Agnes Street to turn right at the traffic signals at the end of Agnes Street. This route will make it easier to cross or get onto the highway. Alternatively, those who choose to turn right from Graham Street will have increased gaps in the traffic due to the signals at Agnes Street. Travelling south along SH1 the best place to turn left to Lake Hood will still be at Graham Street, rather than at the signals at Agnes Street.


How will the proposed changes impact business owners along SH1?

The new traffic signals will make crossing and accessing the highway easier for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, therefore improving local access to most businesses along SH1. It will be safer and easier for more people from west Tinwald to visit local shops and businesses, instead of turning left and travelling to Ashburton, as many do now. There will be no changes to the existing access points for businesses along SH1, except for Z Energy and Tinwald Tavern, who we are speaking with about their access needs. Short sections of shared path will be provided along part of SH1 in front of some shops as needed, and along Agnes Street and Thompson Street to provide for both cyclists and pedestrians.

How will parking be impacted?

Existing parking on the side of the highway has been retained where possible. Seven spaces on the east side of SH1 (three north of Agnes Street and five south) and up to 10 spaces on Agnes Street will be removed to create space to widen the centre median and accommodate the approach lanes towards the signals.

As well as providing room for the southbound cycle lane and wider centre median, the removal of some parking will help to improve visibility and safety for people turning on and off the highway from adjacent businesses.

Parking on the western side will stay.

SH1 Tinwald public parking map [PDF, 1.6 MB]


When will construction start?

The project team has spent 2022 undertaking site investigations and working with Ashburton District Council and KiwiRail to develop the detailed design for the project.

We're expecting construction to start in approximately mid-2023 (subject to property and consents), and completion to be around mid-2024.

By subscribing to updates we can keep you informed(external link)

How much will this cost?

The project is expected to cost around $8.5m (including contingencies).

How is it funded?

This project has government funding through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, delivered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Will this project go ahead?

Yes, this project has been identified through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme for construction next year (2023).

How will traffic be managed during construction to minimise traffic delays?

The detailed design phase will investigate how to maintain traffic flow and minimise delays during construction. These temporary traffic management considerations will include all road users and adjacent businesses.

Who will be carrying out the upgrades and is there a potential for local employment?

Once the design for the project is finalised, the next step is for Waka Kotahi to invite contractors to tender for the construction work. Contractors employing local people are encouraged to tender for the work.

The proposed design does not require the removal of any trees.

What is NZUP and what is its purpose?

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) is investing $8.7 billion in growing communities across the country. The SH1 Tinwald Corridor Improvements project is one of three intersection upgrades in Canterbury funded as part of the NZUP. These three intersection upgrades are intended to improve safety and community access in townships experiencing social severance issues. As a result, communities can look forward to transport improvements that provide more travel choices, help people get where they’re going safely and grow our economy, while responding to the impacts of travel on the environment.

The two other intersections in the area are SH1/Walnut Avenue in Ashburton (under construction) and SH73/Weedons Ross Road in West Melton (in detailed design).

NZ Upgrade overview
Canterbury package


How will pedestrian safety be improved?

Safety for people walking and cycling will be improved through signalised pedestrian crossings at SH1/Agnes Street intersection traffic signals and a safe crossing point through a pedestrian refuge island at the Lagmhor Road/Melcombe Street intersection. Having the traffic signals at Agnes Street also supports the safest route to school – via Agnes and Thomson Streets and the existing pedestrian facility on Graham Street.

Why aren’t there pedestrian crossings on all four sides of the SH1/Lagmhor Road/Agnes Street intersection?

Limiting the number of pedestrian crossings to two helps the highway traffic signals operate efficiently to keep people moving. The available space for a safe rail level crossing is on the south side of Lagmhor Road. The key state highway crossing lines up with this corner and the path continues to the businesses along the eastern side of the state highway corridor. There was little evidence of pedestrians wanting to cross over to the grassed reserve on the northeastern corner. The rail level crossing on Lagmhor Road will be upgraded with automatic gates for pedestrian and cyclists. The route will be encouraged through road signs and markings.

Why are there no shared path or footpath improvements along SH1 between Lagmhor Road and Carters Terrace?

Initially we considered a shared path in the open space between the railway line and the state highway. However, local feedback from a stakeholder workshop, and Ashburton District Council’s Walking and Cycle Strategy encouraged us instead towards building a safer cycling environment along Melcombe Street where more people live. This means people can access their properties directly, rather than having to cross the highway and railway line. Upgraded cycling facilities along Melcombe Street will provide a direct link to adjacent residential properties and through to the Ashburton River Bridge.

Ashburton District Council’s Walking and Cycle Strategy(external link)

Why aren't there more highway crossing points for pedestrians? For example near Comptons Crossing and north of Wilkins Street, where there is parking on the west side.

The new Laghmor Road traffic signals will provide the safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists across both the rail level crossing and highway. This will also be the safe travel route to school. We investigated other pedestrian crossing locations along the highway but there were no specific locations that everyone would want to use. The new widened central median through the township will resolve this issue as it can be used by pedestrians needing to cross the state highway.

When we were planning for this project, local feedback was that people parking on the railway side of the highway mostly cross where it is convenient and there are no obvious crossing points. The wider centre flush median being built into the highway through Tinwald as part of this project, will be an improvement on what is currently there, as people can walk across the two lanes of highway in stages and wait in the middle if they need to.

If central pedestrian refuges were provided in places like at Comptons Crossing and Wilkins Street, they would stop vehicles from being able to turn right from side roads. (The aim of this project is to improve highway access for people.)

It is intended the pedestrian refuge installed in the Jane Street/Graham Street block in mid-2022 will stay once the traffic lights are installed in 2023. (Refer to question above re: removal of zebra crossing.

How will crossing points be improved along the marked safe route to school?

A shared path is proposed on Agnes Street, between SH1 and Thomson Street, for students to use to bike ride and walk to school more safely. The shared path will then continue south to the school along Thomson Street, (between Agnes Street and Jane Street) and people can use the existing pedestrian facility to cross Graham Street. This will mean an increase in cyclists and pedestrians on these streets and residents will need to take extra care when using their driveways.


Cyclist sharrow road markingWhat are the sharrows on Melcombe Street? How do these work?

Melcombe Street has relatively low volumes of traffic and as a quieter local street can provide good connection to residences and Ashburton River Bridge. The ‘sharrow’ markings on Melcombe Street mean ‘share arrows’ and provide an effective cycle facility if speeds can be managed. A sharrow looks like the white cycle symbol with white double-arrows on a green background which indicate that cyclists and vehicles are to share the road. Sharrows encourage cyclists to use more of the travel lane and remind motorists that cyclists are present on the road too. Sharrows are shown to increase the distance cars give to cyclists when overtaking and increase the distance cyclists ride from parked cars (and opening doors), which is safer for everyone using the road. The final form of the cycle facility on Melcombe Street will be worked through with Ashburton District Council as part of detailed design.

Sharrow markings best practice guidance note [PDF, 1.3 MB] 

How will speeds be managed on Melcombe Street to make it safer for cyclists?

Melcombe Street is considered a low traffic volume and low speed environment, but cycle sharrow markings can  reinforce this road as a shared space to keep speeds low. We are also considering urban design and kerb build out options as part of the detailed design. However, the final form of the cycle facility will be confirmed  with Ashburton District Council.

Will cyclists still use SH1 instead of Melcombe as it is more direct?

Cyclists will still be able to use SH1, however Melcombe Street has been added as the preferred safer option  northbound for less confident cyclists that may not wish to cycle alongside traffic on the state highway. The existing southbound cycle lane on SH1 will be retained, as will the northbound cycle lane on SH1 south of Lagmhor Road. The existing northbound cycle lane on SH1 between Lagmhor Road and the viaduct will no longer be marked as a cycle lane, however cyclists will be able to use the shoulder with enough space for vehicles to pass.

Cycling isn’t a popular or practical way of getting around in Tinwald so why are we spending money on it?

One of the strategic priorities in the 2021 Government Policy Statement on Land Transport is ‘Better Travel Options’. This includes improving the travel options available to people through making ‘active mode’ travel more available and accessible. Active modes include walking, cycling, and scootering and safe routes to school in Tinwald. Furthermore, we have plenty of examples of ‘if you build it, they will come’.

How will safety be improved for cyclists?

Safety is improved for cyclists through the new traffic signals providing a safe crossing of the state highway and the addition of sharrows or a similar cycle facility on Melcombe Street to help encourage safe use of this local connection and north towards the existing cycleways to the Ashburton River bridge and new shared path connections to the signalised crossing at the SH1/Lagmhor Road/Agnes Street intersection and safe route to school.

Why isn’t there a fully separated cycle lane or shared path along the rail line?

We asked people in the community about this, and Melcombe Street was preferred to an off-road shared path because it connects directly to where residents live. The cycle facility will be a significant change to Melcombe Street’s current road environment. This will signal to drivers that this is a low speed shared space which will help less confident cyclists, including school children, to feel safer cycling on the road.

Why has the northbound cycle lane been removed on SH1 north of Lagmhor Road?

Northbound cyclists will be encouraged to use Melcombe Street instead of the highway. The existing northbound cycle lane on SH1 between Lagmhor Road and the viaduct will no longer be marked as a cycle lane, however the relatively low number of cyclists will still be able to use the shoulder. It is being removed to make room for the wider highway centre median (flush median) which will make right turns on and off the highway safer and easier.


How will freight times be impacted by the traffic signals?

The traffic signals at Agnes Street will mean more reliable right turns onto SH1 which will help improve safety and mean travel times will be more predictable. We have used traffic modelling to check we have the balance right between stopping freight on SH1 at the signals and improving safety access to and from local side roads.

Furthermore, a key objective for this project is to improve intersection safety and reduce crashes. As well as potentially killing and seriously injuring people, crashes severely impact the movement of freight along SH1.

Integration with other projects

How does this project fit in with the second Ashburton Bridge?

The Ashburton second urban bridge is a separate project to provide improved connectivity between Tinwald, Lake Hood and Ashburton. The second bridge is an Ashburton District Council project for which a detailed business case has been developed and supported by the Council. The timing and funding for this project is still to be determined with Council submitting the detailed business case to Waka Kotahi for inclusion in the National Land Transport Programme. It will undergo a process of assessment and prioritisation for investment nationally, alongside other transport projects submitted across the country. The National Land Transport Programme is a three year programme of investment managed by Waka Kotahi.

The NZUP-funded work underway on SH1 at Tinwald and Walnut Avenue support the improved connectivity between Tinwald and Ashburton but are separate projects. Even with a second bridge, the work we are planning for now in Tinwald will mean it is much easier for people to get around locally and for highway traffic and rail to pass through safer. It will also be much safer for people especially children and the elderly, wanting to walk and bicycle in Tinwald.

NZUP Canterbury package

Ashburton's second urban bridge(external link)

How does this project fit in to Ashburton District Council’s Long-Term Plan?

Council’s principal goal for transportation over the next thirty years is: “To enable efficient travel through the district to support economic activity and social interaction”. This vision aligns strongly with the proposed Tinwald corridor improvements that will provide safer community access for localized economic and social interaction.

How does this project fit into Ashburton District Council’s walking and cycling strategy?

The vision of this draft strategy is: “more people, more active, more often.”

The strategy looks to build on current momentum and make walking and cycling in the Ashburton District safer and more attractive over the next ten years. The proposed Tinwald corridor improvements contribute to this vision through providing safe access for all modes between east and west Tinwald and between Lagmhor Road and Ashburton River Bridge.

In particular, the strategy identifies Melcombe Street as a proposed shared network which aligns with our proposed improvements to Melcombe Street. A shared path along Thomson Street between Graham Street and Jane Street was also proposed in the strategy and is included in our plan as a safe route to Tinwald School.

Ashburton District Council’s walking and cycling strategy(external link)


How will motorists be redirected from using Graham Street to access SH1?

Road signs and road markings will encourage vehicles to turn right onto McMurdo Street from Graham Street, then left onto Agnes Street so that motorists are able to use the traffic signals at the SH1/Lagmhor Road /Agnes Street intersection.

The SH1/Graham Street intersection will have a widened right turn bay and remain open for all turn movements. Southbound traffic will still be able to turn left into Graham Street. We understand that some motorists may prefer to still use Graham Street for right turns – the new signals will help to create gaps which will make these turns easier.

What changes are you making to the Melcombe Street viaduct (opposite Carters Terrace)? 

We’ve recently updated the design at the Melcombe Street viaduct. The project had originally proposed to restrict turning movements in and out of the viaduct, however this has been revised and all turning movements will now be retained. 

This revision addresses concerns that the proposed turning restrictions would contribute to an increase in traffic at Comptons Crossing (the level crossing mid-way between Lagmhor Road and the viaduct).

The design still includes a shared path under the viaduct to improve safety for people walking and cycling.