Council demands action on state highway safety improvements
Horowhenua District Council is calling on New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to take urgent action to address safety issues on stretches of State Highway 1 and State Highway 57 that run through the district.
At its meeting on Wednesday, elected members resolved to formally request that NZTA immediately install a temporary 60 kilometre per hour (km/h) speed restriction at the intersection of Queen Street and State Highway 57, and begin investigating a permanent safety solution within four weeks.
NZTA rates the intersection as one of the Top 100 most dangerous intersections in New Zealand.
Council also resolved to write formally to the Minister of Transport and the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NZTA to express concerns at the lack of progress on road safety improvements on State Highway 57 and the stretch of State Highway 1 between Manakau and Foxton.
Councillor Ross Brannigan said Council needs to send a strong message to central government.
“The reality is that the government has talked the talk, but they certainly aren’t walking the walk. The completion of Transmission Gully and the Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway is only going to increase the amount of traffic coming through this district, so we have to push NZTA and the government to do something, or more people are going to lose their lives. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.
Mayor of Horowhenua Michael Feyen said there was a high level of frustration in the community about safety issues on state highways in Horowhenua.
“NZTA has said there’s a programme of up to $40 million of safety improvements for our district, but we haven’t had any indication of what those improvements might be. For example, safety improvements to the Waitārere curves on State Highway 1 have been promised for nearly three years,” he said.
Both resolutions were passed unanimously.
“It’s important that NZTA hears this message from the entire council,” Councillor Jo Mason said. “We’ve set a short timeframe, but it’s sending a message that we do have an expectation that something will change in the interests of the safety of drivers and pedestrians in our district.”