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Whakatu Drive barrier to protect waterfront cyclists and pedestrians

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Cyclists and pedestrians on State Highway 6’s Whakatu Drive will soon be able to enjoy greater peace of mind while enjoying the scenic waterfront, with a 2.5km wire rope edge barrier now under construction to protect people using the shared pathway from errant vehicles.

Acting Highways manager for Nelson Mark Owen says Whakatu Drive is one of the busiest roads in Nelson with a daily vehicle count of 21,000, and a new barrier will put proven lifesaving technology between walkers and cyclists and the thousands of cars that pass them every day.

“We already know that the median barrier we’ve installed down the centreline is very effective, especially as it has been hit on a  number of occasions. Every time it’s struck, we know that’s potentially a nasty crash that has been prevented.   

“We also want to keep people enjoying the waterfront safe from vehicles that could possibly lose control, and a barrier along the edge of the road will give people peace of mind and potentially save lives. 

“If motorists lose control, the barriers are designed to deflect motorists back into their lane, which means they won’t run the risk of hitting someone who is enjoying an evening bike ride or stroll. It’s also safer for the motorist, so it’s a real win-win.”

The Chair of the Regional Transport Committee, Councillor Eric Davy, says “It’s great to see this work is now underway, and it will hopefully encourage more cyclists to get on their bikes with greater confidence.”

“Installing a barrier to separate cyclists from traffic will help to foster cycling’s popularity in Nelson by providing a safe, healthy and appealing travel choice for the community,” he says.

Mr Owen says the work will be undertaken by Higgins, and comes at a cost of $200k.  It is expected to be completed by mid to late July 2015.

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