Reduced speed limits along the dangerous stretch of State Highway 2 between Masterton and Carterton may be coming soon after a meeting between Carterton councillors and the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Carterton Mayor John Booth made an “impassioned plea” for reduced speeds at the meeting on Friday because of frequent crashes.
“I got up to speak about the frustrations we have about the safety of the stretch of SH2 between Carterton and Masterton – particularly the concerns about the Norfolk Rd intersection,” he said.
Booth argued for NZTA to reduce the speed limit along the dangerous sections until a more permanent solution could be enacted.
“As a short-term measure while they get their plan done, I’ve pushed to bring in speed restrictions from south of Norman Ave through to the Waingawa Bridge. I don’t know what speed it would be though.
“The only way we can [make it safer] is to reduce the speed to give people more time. If there was an accident it would lessen the damage.”
NZTA seemed to listen, Booth said, saying it had been a “positive” hearing despite limited funding.
He said NZTA hoped to come to the community with their plan in September and would want to consult on it before finalising.
“They are going to do their best to minimise the risk by looking at putting a speed restriction in place in the meantime.”
Earlier this year, residents expressed frustrations with the lack of action after a spate of crashes reignited the issue, the most recent of which occurred less than two weeks ago at the Norfolk Rd intersection.
Questions and concerns about the string of accidents along SH2 were raised at a council meeting earlier in June, prompting the councillors to take their concerns to NZTA.
Deputy Mayor Russell Keys said they were “very lucky” accidents which had a lot of potential to be more serious.
NZTA figures show that 17 people have been seriously injured in crashes on the road between Masterton and Carterton from 2007 to 2016.