Road users discuss ways to make SH2 from Carterton to Masterton safer at a New Zealand Transport Agency drop-in event last August. PHOTO/FILE
Users of State Highway 2 are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of urgency from New Zealand Transport Agency in remedying the dangerous stretch between Carterton and Masterton.
NZTA conducted community input events during August last year, asking for local voices and feedback for improvements to the road.
More than 600 people went to the events to give their feedback, with other submissions made online.
The online forum closed at the end of August, while results of the discussion were published at the start of December.
Three intersections of note form part of the project – Wiltons Rd and East Taratahi Rd, Norfolk Rd and Cornwall Rd, and Ngaumutawa Rd and SH2.
Other areas of concern are the open road mid-sections and the Clareville stretch north of Carterton.
Craig Sargent of farm machinery supplier Norwood, who works near the Ngaumutawa Rd-SH2 intersection, wants action.
“Something needs to be done about it before a horrible accident happens – the sooner the better.
“It’s a very dangerous intersection, we’re looking forward to a change.”
He’s hopeful that once a decision is made changes will be made quickly.
Masterton man Mark Sanson commutes to Wellington and rates the condition of the road surface as “dangerous”.
“Especially when it rains, it’s like riding on ice.”
“It’s embarrassing to call it a state highway the condition it is in.”
Carterton District Council said it sent NZTA an approved proposal to change Norman Avenue to a left entry, left exit, in late August 2018, but received no reply.
NZTA put a focus on the section of road because it says from 2007 to 2016, 17 people were seriously injured in crashes on the road between Masterton and Carterton,
The majority of these injuries were caused by drivers running off the road and hitting objects such as ditches, fences and poles, and head-on crashes.
When the Times-Age asked NZTA what plans they had to make the road safer and when these changes were going to happen there was no definitive answer.
NZTA said it will be updating the community and stakeholders again ahead of their next open days, which are likely to be later in 2019.
By the end of the year they will confirm their preferred option and outline the next steps as they move forward to seek construction funding over the “coming years”.
NZTA sent its feedback summary out to the community and stakeholders in December, which can be seen at: nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh2-masterton-to-carterton/