Road users discussing ways to make SH2 from Carterton to Masterton safer. PHOTO/CAL ROBERTS

CAL ROBERTS
cal.roberts@age.co.nz

Road users were urged to “think of the bigger picture” when it came to safety improvements on State Highway 2 between Masterton and Carterton on Wednesday.

Plenty of people heeded the call of the New Zealand Transport Agency on Wednesday to provide feedback at a drop-in at Solway Primary School.

Sally Davies wanted more space for her horse-drawn carriage.

She said it would be beneficial to all if there was more room for drivers to pass slower moving road users safely.

“I’m a fan of four lanes.”

In the middle of the Solway school hall a large printed map of the road featured with notes with improvements from visitors.

They included “median barrier on open road sections, or wider centre line” and “no roundabouts . . . think of the bigger picture”.

Automobile Association Wairarapa’s Handley Thomson was surprised by the big turnout and glad to see NZTA listening to suggestions from people who knew the road best.

“I hope they take special note of them, prioritise, and get on with it.”

On Tuesday, Carterton Mayor John Booth and his Masterton counterpart Lyn Patterson both expressed support for a roundabout at Norfolk Rd. Patterson also favoured a roundabout at Ngaumutawa Rd, near Solway School.

The school’s principal Mark Bridges told NZTA, mayors and engineers about specific challenges the school faced.

He said the intersection and the road in front of the school was busy, and as the region grew, it would only get busier.

“It’s a bit of a nightmare, at three o’clock in particular.”

He said because the school’s zoning was spread out, the majority of children came to school by car or bus.

The school’s roll was increasing with more than 300 pupils enrolled next year.

Patterson shared Bridges’ view.

“It’s just a messy, confusing intersection for many.”

A suggestion that the school could be moved, after being on the site for 100 years this year, prompted a quick response from the principal.

“We were here first.”

A second NZTA drop-in session will be held on Saturday at the Carterton Events Centre from 10am-2pm.

Feedback can also be provided online, by August 31, at: nzta.govt.nz/m2c/have-your-say