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Safety improvements for Oakura, State Highway 45

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Following a review of road safety issues raised by the Oakura community in Taranaki about State Highway 45, a number of changes will be made to help improve road safety in the area.

“The review took into account crash data for the area, road alignments, traffic volumes and speeds. The improvements being made will have biggest influence on improving safety on this stretch of road for all road users says NZ Transport Agency Highway Manager Ross I’Anson.

The changes, focused on the north end of Oakura, include:

  • Improving the left turn into and out of Corbett Park by easing the bend.
  • Closing the passing lane and replacing this with a wide centreline. This will help to decrease the risk of head on collisions and help with intersection safety. Closing the passing lanes will also lead to an overall reduction in vehicle speed, as motorists won’t speed up to overtake slower vehicles.
  • Improving the visibility of the Dixon Street pedestrian refuge and removing nearby car parks.
  • Improving the guardrails on the River bridge on the Corbett Park side of State Highway 45.

The NZ Transport Agency is expected to start on the main body of work in May and it will take approximately three weeks to complete, depending on the weather. While the work is underway, temporary traffic management will be in place. Road marking will likely take place at night to minimise any inconvenience to road users. Temporary speed restrictions will be in place while work to improve the guardrails on the bridge is carried out.

The community also raised concerns about the speed limits in the area.

As part of implementing the Government’s road safety strategy Safer Journeys, the NZ Transport Agency released the Speed Management Guide at the end of 2016. The Guide outlines a best practice approach to calculating speed limits and provides a new and consistent methodology for identifying the safe and appropriate speed for state highways and local roads. It is based on the road’s function, design, safety, use and the surrounding environment, including land use.

It recognises that not all roads have the same risk, and that needs to be reflected in the way speed is managed. The Guide will be used by the NZ Transport Agency (for state highways) and councils (for local roads)  to identify and prioritise the parts of their networks where speed management will contribute most to reducing deaths and serious injuries, while supporting overall economic productivity.

The NZ Transport Agency will work with local stakeholders and communities using the process outlined in the Speed Management Guide to consider what are safe and appropriate speeds across the region.

More information about the Speed Management Guide.

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