Significant safety improvements are on the way for Queenstown drivers and residents who use Tucker Beach Road to get onto State Highway 6.
The NZ Transport Agency is continuing to work toward designing and implementing further safety improvements at the SH6/Tucker Beach Road intersection.
“The preferred option is to investigate using the existing link beneath the Shotover River Bridge to make it easier and safer for people driving from Tucker Beach Road toward Frankton,” says Ian Duncan, Transport Agency Southern Business Unit Manager. “The next milestone for this option will be confirmation of funding for the business case, targeted for July. Subject to satisfactory progress through the business case and design stage, the Transport Agency could be in a position to tender for construction work in October 2017.”
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult welcomed the announcement and acknowledged the Transport Agency’s response to address this challenging intersection. “It is encouraging to see a link using the underpass beneath SH6 is being actively investigated. Council supports a speed reduction as an interim measure and looks forward to working closely with our counterparts at the Transport Agency on a safe, permanent solution.”
From the end of May, the speed limit on State Highway 6 from Stalker Road to Hardware Lane in Frankton will drop from 100km/h to 80km/h. This will join the existing 80km/h speed limit which applies from Hardware Lane through to the 50km/h speed limit in Frankton.
The Transport Agency consulted on the proposed change last month, with the majority of the feedback received supporting a lower speed limit.
Ian Duncan says the increased traffic volumes created by a sharp rise in commercial and residential developments in this area, has seen a corresponding increase in crashes. Current crash figures from 2011–2016 show 18 reported crashes on this section of highway resulting in three serious and 13 minor injuries.
“As legally required, the new speed limit between Stalker Road and Hardware Lane will be gazetted on 26 May, 2017 and take effect from 30 May 2017, when the speed limit sign changes are completed.
“Lowering the speed limit through this area is part of the Transport Agency’s ongoing commitment to creating safer journeys, by reducing the numbers of death and serious injuries on roads through the Safe System approach.”
Mr Duncan said it recognises that people make mistakes and are vulnerable in a crash, and aims to reduce the price paid for a mistake so crashes don’t result in death or serious injuries. This includes building safer roads and encouraging people to drive their vehicles at safe speeds.”