Consultation on a proposed State Highway 1 deviation through central Kaikoura to improve safety has resulted in more than 160 submissions, with a wide range of views and ideas provided.
The NZ Transport Agency is investigating a proposal to address safety issues such as limited visibility, poor pedestrian crossing facilities, and closely spaced intersections at West End, Ludstone Road and Whaleway Station Road.
“The limited visibility and lack of turning space makes access and pedestrian crossing very difficult and likely to get worse with the increased level of tourist activity anticipated after the earthquake recovery,” says Transport Agency Project Manager Mike Blyleven.
“We acknowledge that many people were critical of the limited timeframe for this consultation, at a stressful time for Kaikoura people and business owners. The Transport Agency apologises for this but given the Government’s provision of $231 million for enhancement work (external link) through Kaikoura and along State Highway 1, we needed to seek the views of the community urgently to consider this proposal alongside the other earthquake restoration work being undertaken along the coastal route.
“We are very pleased with the responses and the wide ranging views offered,” he says.
The feedback has raised many matters that the Transport Agency is now assessing in full, including alternative options and suggestions to improve the proposal.
A number of people were concerned about the number of trucks going along Beach Road, and suggested that a bypass of Kaikoura should be built instead.
Others were concerned about the properties that would be affected by the new road deviation, the possible impact on other businesses and the changes in local road connectivity.
While slightly more people opposed the realignment proposal than supported it in part or full, the majority agreed that the proposal would provide safer access for everyone.
The Transport Agency is now assessing all feedback, and will then engage further with iwi, affected parties and Kaikoura District Council to help inform a final decision on the way forward.
This will take place over the next month, and a decision will be made towards the end of October on the best way forward.
For background on this project, read the consultation page (external link) on our web site.