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Design underway for SH2 Wairarapa safety improvements

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Design on two critical safety improvements for State Highway 2 in the Wairarapa is now underway, signalling an important step in helping to make the region’s roads safer as part of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Safe Network Programme.

The safety improvements currently being designed include a roundabout at the Norfolk Road intersection as well as safety barriers along a high-risk section of State Highway 2 between Waingawa and Clareville, making this stretch of road much safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says these improvements will be a positive step forward for the region’s road network.  

“The roundabout and safety barriers will significantly improve the safety of people travelling on this stretch of road. We know safety barriers prevent head on crashes and reduce the number of loss-of-control crashes. 

“This is the first of many steps we are taking to improve the roads in Wairarapa and I’d like to thank the community and councils for continuing to work so constructively with us through this process.” 

Waka Kotahi is also investigating safety interventions at the State Highway 2 and Ngaumutawa Road intersection, as well as a wider package of safety improvements on the state highway between Masterton and Featherston.  

Carterton Mayor Greg Lang says, “I’m really pleased funding has been made available for these much-needed safety improvements. Our council supports the improvement options the Transport Agency has suggested and I look forward to working with them to get this project moving forward.

“Safety on our roads is something our council takes very seriously, and I hope a date is set in the very near future for the work to take place.”

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson says, “I’m relieved that safety improvements to this stretch of road are being made a priority; we have significant traffic volumes along this road and our council has been pushing to see changes made.

“It’s great that a roundabout at the Norfolk Road intersection has been confirmed and I am eagerly awaiting further confirmation of similar improvements to the Ngaumutawa Road intersection at Masterton’s entrance – this area is a significant safety concern to many in our community and we’re keen to understand the next steps on this project.”

Another focus area under the Safe Network Programme is ensuring state highways have safe and appropriate speed limits. As part of this, a speed review is planned for this stretch of road.

“Ensuring speed limits are safe is one of the most effective things we can do to prevent deaths and serious injuries. No matter what causes a crash, speed is always a factor in the severity. Put simply, the speed of impact can be the difference between walking away or being carried away from a crash,” Ms Speight says.

When Waka Kotahi undertakes a speed review, there are numerous steps to follow. This includes a technical assessment which considers crash history, average vehicle speeds, the number of vehicles on the road, and development of surrounding areas.

It also includes engagement and consultation with our council partners, iwi, community, businesses and other road users. Engagement is an important step as it helps understand how local people use the road, and how they feel about the current speed limits. 

An announcement about a speed review in the Wairarapa is expected in the coming months.  

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