People who travel along State Highway 2 (SH2) between Bethlehem and Waihi are being asked to share their thoughts on the route, as the NZ Transport Agency continues to explore ways to boost safety in the area.
The Transport Agency is in the early stages of a project that aims to reduce the number of head-on and intersection crashes on the stretch of highway by creating a more forgiving road environment.
The Safe System Northern Corridor project will investigate installing safety improvements such as median barriers, which will help to prevent head on crashes, guard rails to help prevent cars running off the road and addressing speed limits so they suit the road environment.
The project will also look at realigning sections of road to improve sight distance and ways to improve safety at intersections.
The Transport Agency’s Bay of Plenty highway manager, Niclas Johansson says a survey has been set up to allow people who use the route to have their say on what’s important to them.
“We have been working with the NZ Police, the heavy haulage industry and both Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, to identify the challenges along this section of highway and the potential improvements,” Mr Johansson says.
“Now we want to hear from the public, so we get the right balance between what is best for road users, the community and the overall function of the highway.
“We are encouraging people to tell us how they use this corridor, their thoughts on speed limits and how safe they feel turning into side roads.
“Feedback received from the community will help develop the potential safety options.”
Mr Johansson says the Transport Agency took the safe system approach as they worked towards the goal of reducing deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads.
“The safe system approach looks across the entire road system to improve safety by creating safer roads and roadsides, safer speeds, safer vehicles and safer road use,” he says.
It also 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.
“The main causes of the crashes between 2009 and 2013 were crossing the centre line, turning across traffic and running off the road,” he says.
“This project aims to save lives and lessen injuries by creating a more forgiving road environment so crashes don't result in death or serious injuries.”
A shortlist of the safety options will be presented to the community early next year.
The Safe System Northern Corridor survey can be completed online http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/sh2-bop-northern-corridor-safe-system-project/?r=1(external link)
More information on the Safe System approach and the government’s strategy to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand’s roads can be found on: http://www.saferjourneys.govt.nz/(external link)
Bethlehem to Waihi stretch of SH2.
For more information please contact:
Waikato / Bay of Plenty Media Manager
T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 928 413