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Last updated 19 March 2021


  •   How will the proposed changes impact business owners along SH1?

    We anticipate that the new traffic signals will make crossing and accessing State Highway 1 (SH1) easier for both motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, therefore improving access to businesses along SH1. There are no changes proposed to the existing access points for businesses fronting SH1, with the exception of Z Energy and Tinwald Tavern who we are speaking with about their access needs. Short sections of shared path will be provided along part of SH1 and Agnes Street in front of some shops as needed, to provide for both cyclists and pedestrians.

  •   How will we access the Z Energy service station?

    It is proposed that the existing customer access to the Z service station from SH1 will be unchanged, but the access via Agnes Street will be shifted slightly east, and exiting as a left turn onto SH1 will be encouraged. Discussions with Z Energy are being progressed to discuss the access arrangements. Vehicles heading north will be able to turn right into Agnes Street at the new traffic lights and then turn right into the service station.

  •   How will parking be impacted?

    The design looks to keep existing kerbside car parking where possible. It is proposed that about eight spaces on the east side of SH1 (three north of Agnes Street and five south) and 10 spaces on Agnes Street will be removed to create space to widen the centre median and accommodate the approach lanes towards the signals.

  •   Will the widening for the new approach lanes and wider median impact businesses?

    The proposed design is focused on minimising the impact on the eastern side of SH1 and where possible. North of Agnes Street, we are proposing to widen on the western side instead (towards the rail corridor) by removing the cycle lane going north. South of Agnes Street, constraints mean we are proposing to widen the centre median to the east which requires removal of five kerbside spaces, located in front of the off-street angle parking for the shops.

    Parking on the western side is proposed to stay.



  •   Why aren’t there pedestrian crossings on all four sides of the SH1/Lagmhor Road/Agnes Street intersection?

    To encourage the safe use of the rail level crossing, pedestrians and cyclists will be encouraged to cross SH1 on the southern side of the intersection. This crossing will connect to the southern side of Lagmhor Road where we are proposing to upgrade the level crossing with automatic gates for pedestrian and cyclists. By encouraging crossing on the southern side of the intersection, it reduces the number of roads pedestrians and cyclists have to cross and provides for crossing where it is safest.

  •   How will pedestrian safety be improved?

    Pedestrian and cyclist safety will be improved through pedestrian crossings across SH1 and Agnes Street (i.e. via a signalised pedestrian crossing phase), and a safe crossing point through a pedestrian refuge island at the Lagmhor Road/Melcombe Street intersection.



  •   What are the sharrows on Melcombe Street? How do these work?

    Cyclist sharrow road markingCyclists going north are encouraged to connect onto Melcombe Street, as a quieter local street with good connection to the river bridge and residences. The ‘sharrow’ markings on Melcombe Street mean ‘share arrows’. A sharrow looks like the white cycle symbol with white double-arrows on a green background that indicates cyclists and vehicles are meant to share the road. Sharrows encourage cyclists to use more of the travel lane where there is potential danger to them (such as from parked cars) and remind motorists that cyclists will be present on the road too. We know that sharrows tend to increase the distance cars give to cyclists when overtaking, and increase the distance cyclists ride from parked cars , which helps promote safety for all road users.

    Sharrow markings best practice guidance note [PDF, 1.3 MB]

  •   Will cyclists still use SH1 instead of Melcombe as it is more direct?

    Cyclists will still be able to use SH1, however Melcombe Street has been added as a safer option for less confident cyclists that may not wish to cycle alongside traffic on the State Highway. The existing southbound cycle lane on SH1 will be retained, as will the northbound cycle lane on SH1 south of Lagmhor Road. It is proposed that the existing northbound cycle lane on SH1 between Lagmhor Road and the viaduct will no longer be marked as a cycle lane, however cyclists will be able to use the shoulder.

  •   How will safety be improved for cyclists?

    Safety is improved for cyclists through the addition of sharrows on Melcombe Street to help encourage safe use of this local connection, new shared path connections to the signalised crossing at the SH1/Lagmhor Road/Agnes Street intersection, and north towards the existing cycleways to the river bridge.



  •   How will freight times be impacted?

    The project aims to improve right turns from Agnes Street onto SH1 in terms of reliability and safety for freight movements. We are undertaking modelling to see how to reduce the delay to freight on SH1, whilst achieving our goals of improved safety and local road access. There will also be some deceleration needed by all vehicles when approaching the traffic signals because of the raised safety platforms, even if a vehicle approaches a green signal. The desired approach speed for vehicles entering the intersection is 30 km/h which is known to improve the chances of pedestrians and cyclists surviving if they are hit by a vehicle.


Integration with other projects

  •   How does this project fit into the walking and cycling strategy?

    The vision of this draft strategy is: “more people, more active, more often.”

    The strategy looks to build on current momentum and make walking and cycling in the Ashburton District safer and more attractive over the next ten years. The proposed Tinwald corridor improvements contribute to this vision through providing safe access for all modes between east and west Tinwald and between Lagmhor Road and Ashburton Bridge.

    In particular, the strategy identifies Melcombe Street as a proposed shared network which aligns with our proposed improvements to Melcombe Street. A shared path along Thomson Street between Graham Street and Jane Street was also proposed in the strategy and is included in our proposed safe route to Tinwald School.

  •   How will these changes improve access to and from Lake Hood?

    The proposed changes will make it safer and easier for Lake Hood traffic to cross and get onto SH1. Travelling south to Lake Hood, the right turn bay from the highway will make it easier to access Graham Street, plus the new signals will provide more gaps in the traffic and opportunities to cross. The best place to turn left is at Graham Street, rather than at the signals at Agnes Street. Northbound traffic from Lake Hood can travel up Grahams Road and then right onto McMurdo Street, then left to the traffic signals at the end of Agnes Street to more easily get onto or cross the highway.



  •   How will motorists be redirected from using Graham Street to access SH1?

    Signage and markings will be used to encourage vehicles to turn right onto McMurdo Street from Graham Street, then left onto Agnes Street so that motorists are able to use the traffic signals at th SH1 / Lagmhor Road /Agnes Street intersection.

    The SH1 / Graham Street intersection will have a new right turn bay and remain open for all turn movements. Southbound traffic will still be able to turn left into Graham Street. We understand that some motorists may prefer to use any gaps created by the new signals adjacent, that will also make it easier to turn to/from SH1 at Graham Street.

  •   Why have you restricted turning movements (except the left turn out) at the Melcombe Street viaduct opposite Carters Terrace? How will motorists get onto SH1?

    The one-lane section under the railway viaduct was identified as requiring safety improvements. We have worked with Ashburton District Council who have planned to restrict turns at Melcombe Street for a while for safety reasons. Restricting all turns except the left turn out onto SH1 means we can create a safer road and connection for pedestrians and cyclists through the viaduct, which will be a key active travel connection between the Ashburton River Bridge and Melcombe Street.

    The restricted movements will be made clear with markings, signage and islands. Motorists will be redirected to instead use Melcombe Street Crossing to the south which will remain open for all movements, or the new signals at Lagmhor Road.



  •   How is it funded?

    This project has Government funding through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, delivered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

  •   Who will be carrying out the upgrades and is there a potential for local employment?

    Once the design for the project is finalised, the next step is for Waka Kotahi to invite contractors to tender for the construction work. Contractors employing local people are encouraged to tender for the work.

    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme will be delivered over the next decade and provides the guaranteed, fully-funded pipeline of work that industry have been calling for. It will create 800 to 1,000 direct new jobs in our civil construction industry as the first five projects get underway in the next 12 months, and 7,000 to 9,000 direct opportunities for our wider supply chain. This will give the sector the certainty to invest in the workforce, upskill and train more apprentices.



  •   How will you manage the phasing of traffic signals? Will it include phasing for cyclists? How long will the traffic be stopped at the SH1?

    The signals will run either ‘two-phase’ or ‘three-phase’ depending on demand detected by the loops in the pavement on the approach lanes. These loops give information to the signal controller unit on site that operates with a connection to the operations centre, and helps to determine the most efficient phasing option.

    Two-phase means the State Highway traffic will get a green light while Lagmhor Road and Agnes Street wait at a red light, and then the State Highway will get a red light while Lagmhor Road and Agnes Street get green lights. Three-phase is the same as two-phase, with the addition of a phase when all approaches are on red except the vehicles turning right from SH1 which makes this right turn movement safer and more reliable.

    There won’t be phasing exclusively for cyclists. Cyclists will be directed onto the shared footpath to ‘dual crossing’ with pedestrians. Alternatively cyclists that stay on-road with vehicle traffic will be required to follow the vehicle lights.

    At the busiest period, the traffic modelling so far indicates that the red light for SH1 traffic will run for approximately 30 seconds to let vehicles from Lagmhor Road and Agnes Street go.

  •   Why is there no slip lane for left turns from Lagmhor Road?

    A left-turn slip lane is considered less safe as drivers typically turn with higher speed and need to judge whether they need to give way, which makes it less safe for cyclists and motorists travelling through on SH1 and harder for pedestrians to cross the slip lane. This is contrary to the project objectives of safety and access, and as a result was not included in the proposed Tinwald corridor improvements.

  •   What improvements are being made at the rail level crossing?

    The rail crossing will have an additional CCTV camera to monitor traffic conditions remotely. The traffic signals will be linked to the level crossing bells so that cars will not be able to turn into Lagmhor Road while a train is approaching. The surface surrounding the rail crossing will be marked as ‘keep clear’ hatching to help keep the tracks clear of waiting vehicles. Automatic gates will be added to provide protection for cyclists and pedestrians using the crossing.

  •   What is NZUP and what is its purpose?

    “The New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) is investing $6.8 billion to get our cities moving, save lives and boost productivity.” The SH1 Tinwald Corridor Improvements is one of three intersection upgrades in Canterbury identified as part of the NZUP. These three intersection upgrades are intended to improve safety and community access in townships experiencing social severance issues.

    The two other intersections in the area are SH1/Walnut Avenue in Ashburton and SH73/Weedons Ross Road in West Melton.

    NZ Upgrade overview
    Canterbury package