car driving along dyers pass in christchurch

Dyers Pass safety improvements

Waka Kotahi and Christchurch City Council have invested $7.25 million dollars to install 3km of side barrier and wider sealed shoulders at high-risk locations along Dyers Pass Road, a very popular motorcycling and cycling route, to improve safety.

Dyers Pass Road provides a road link between Christchurch city and Lyttelton Harbour over the Port Hills. The 5.9km route comprises a narrow two-lane road with minimal shoulders on a winding alignment at steep grades.

The route has high crash rate with high injury severity due to the steep terrain and there is no nearby alternative route.

Before this project side barrier was already in place on 23% of the length of Dyers Pass Road yet there had still been eight DSI (death and serious injury) crashes, with six deaths and seven serious injuries in the previous five years. Five of those crashes could have been prevented with side barriers, motorcycle under-runs and wider shoulders.

“The road has a high crash rate and the steep terrain means that when crashes do happen, they often result in severe injuries,” says Christchurch City Council’s Transport Operations Manager Steffan Thomas.

“This safety upgrade has widened the road cross-section and installed new guardrails in high-risk locations, which should reduce the severity of crashes where vehicles would have left the road.”

With 75.5% TEFAR (targeted enhanced funding assistance rate) the project was able to fund side barrier on a further 45% of the route, making up around 70% in total.