Safety barriers down the middle of the road to stop head-on crashes, rumble strips to give drivers a wake-up call, and intersection improvements are among possible changes to a high-risk stretch of State Highway 1 between the Selwyn River and Ashburton in Mid-Canterbury.
The NZ Transport Agency has released a proposed plan designed to reduce death and serious injury crashes on the main highway south of Christchurch. They are encouraging people to have their say at one of three community drop-in events later in November.
Transport Agency System Manager Pete Connors says the project team will hold community events in Dunsandel, Ashburton and Rakaia on November 22, 23 and 24 to share information on the proposed safety improvements and get feedback.
“We have been investigating ways to make this road safer as too many people are being killed and seriously injured in crashes,” Mr Connors says.
“To make sure we get things right we asked people who use the road what makes this road feel unsafe and what worries them the most. We used this feedback, alongside our research, to shape this proposed plan.”
The proposed plan includes:
Mr Connors says 70 per cent of the deaths on the road are from head-on crashes.
“Installing flexible road safety barrier and turnaround bays along the route will make a real difference,” he says.
“Flexible road safety barriers ‘catch’ vehicles that leave their lane before they hit something less forgiving – like other vehicles or roadside hazards such as trees, poles and ditches.
“When a vehicle hits a barrier, the high-tension wire cables flex, slowing down the vehicle and keeping it upright during and after a collision. The barrier absorbs the impact, reducing the force on the people in the vehicle.”
The proposed plan is not final, and Mr Connors says the Transport Agency is looking for input from the public before the project team finalise the design and apply for construction funding.
“I would encourage people to attend one of these community events so they can have their say and understand how these proposed safety changes could affect the way they use the highway.”
|Thursday, 22 November
|Dunsandel Community Centre
|3pm to 6pm
|Friday 23 November
|Former Ashburton i-Site
|10am to 1pm
|Saturday 24 November
|The Salmon Reserve
Corner of SH1 and Elizabeth Street
|11am to 2pm