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High turnout for road safety drop-in

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

CAL ROBERTS
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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

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, 26 years ago our son was a victim of a serious motor vehicle accident on The Norfolk Road corner.
    We have been waiting all this time to see something done on this corner, with all the industry here and the increase in population on Norfolk Road it becomes all the more important.
    I would personally like to see two roundabouts one at Ngaumutawa Road & one at Norfolk Road & the spreed limit lowered between them.

  2. I have driven between Carterton and Masterton literally on a daily basis to/from work for nearly 35 years and have noticed how much the traffic has increased in recent years.

    As regards improvements, I definitely feel that a roundabout is needed where Ngaumutawa Road by-pass joins the main highway at Solway as I’ve seen several near accidents there primarily due to drivers not knowing how to use that merging lane properly and pulling into the southbound traffic lane when it is not safe to do so. It would also benefit trucks pulling out of the yards on the eastern side at the same location, especially those headed north..

    A second roundabout is definitely needed where Norfolk and Cornwall Roads join SH2 in view of the heavy traffic leaving and joining the main highway to/from Norfolk Road. It would also benefit northbound drivers intending to turn right into Cornwall Road as their vision at present can be partly blocked by southbound trucks waiting to turn into Norfolk Road. However, I don’t feel that the intersection with Norman Avenue would need to be altered as most traffic would probably exit the area via Norfolk Road if/when a roundabout is installed. If the main highway is busy, any southbound drivers from Norman Avenue would have the option of making a left turn and gaining the southbound lane via that same roundabout. Meanwhile, any northbound vehicle turning left into Norman Avenue can do so safely.

    The next staggered intersection where East Taratahi and Wiltons Roads join SH2 is also very dangerous, especially for any southbound drivers intending to make a right turn into Wiltons Road, something which I personally wouldn’t dare to attempt in its current state. I feel that the road needs to be further widened, if possible, at that intersection and a proper arrowed lane provided for any southbound traffic turning into Wiltons Road, as is the case at the Chester Road intersection at Clareville nearer Carterton. I also feel that a speed limit should be reduced to 80 kph from a point just north of Chester Road to the current 70 kph limit on the outskirts of Carterton.

    As regards safety barriers on both sides of the state highway between Masterton and Carterton, I feel that the less expensive rumble strips on both sides would be effective as the noise of running over those is sufficient to jolt drivers’ attention and direction back to where it should be.

    I’m pleased to say that during the years I have used that section of highway, I’ve never once had any problems or any near misses. Most accidents on that road have been caused more by dangerous, careless and inattentive driving than anything else and, even if those safety options are put in place, accidents will unfortunately still happen but let’s hope that those improvement options will reduce them considerably.

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