Fa­tal­i­ties mount

No­body does any­thing. El­derly peo­ple can strug­gle out there.

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

SOME have made it through fierce bat­tles but many Pt Che­va­lier RSA mem­bers aren’t con­vinced they will sur­vive Great North Rd.

The club hopes its lat­est call for a pedes­trian cross­ing out­side its clu­b­rooms won’t fall on deaf ears af­ter an­other death on the road.

‘‘It’s re­ally bad, some­thing has to be done be­fore an­other per­son is killed,’’ club vice pres­i­dent Andrea Twydle says.

Su­sana Hutchinson was cross­ing from the Kiwi Rd side of Great North Rd to the RSA when she was struck by a city-bound car on April 24.

She died two days later and po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the crash.

The site is a known to be a blackspot and four pedes­tri­ans have been hit there in the last five years.

In 2009 an­other woman died when she was hit by a car out­side the RSA.

‘‘There have been a lot of near misses as well,’’ Mrs Twydle says.

‘‘The only prob­lem no­body does any­thing.

‘‘El­derly peo­ple can strug­gle out there.

‘‘You get the odd one who will stand out there wait­ing for some­one to help them

is over the road be­cause they are get­ting scared to cross,’’ she says.

The is­sue has been on­go­ing for the RSA, which started cam­paign­ing in the 1990s for a cross­ing.

A pedes­trian refuge was in­stalled in 2002 and it was re­shaped in 2008 to stop motorists turn­ing right from Kiwi Rd.

‘‘Since then traf­fic has ab­so­lutely dou­bled,’’ club pres­i­dent Ho­race Cadd says.

‘‘It was good at the time, but it is no good now,’’

Nearly all of the ac­ci­dents have hap­pened around twi­light.

Mr Cadd says at the very least the pedes­trian refuge needs to be bet­ter lit.

Auck­land Trans­port ex­pects to com­plete an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the lat­est in­ci­dent by June, and will con­sider safety im­prove­ments.

Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board mem­ber Graeme Easte says the is­sue is long stand­ing but a cross­ing may not be the an­swer.

‘‘It’s a tricky one. With so many com­mer­cial en­trances and ex­its on both sides of the road the op­tions for putting in a cross­ing are lim­ited,’’ Mr Easte says.

He says the refuge is fairly close to an­other cross­ing and the num­ber of peo­ple need-

it would be rel­a­tively ing low.

‘‘You need a cer­tain num­ber of pedes­tri­ans to have a fully fledged cross­ing with all of the bells and whis­tles.

‘‘Para­dox­i­cally hav­ing a cross­ing that is rarely used can be un­safe. Some peo­ple may just drive through it,’’ he says.

‘‘The board has kept up the pres­sure to get some im­prove­ments, but it’s a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion.

‘‘The board is keen to see a good out­come, but it might not nec­es­sar­ily be what some peo­ple are ask­ing for,’’ he says.

Mr Easte says im­prov­ing light­ing, al­ter­ing the pedes­trian refuge and chang­ing the road sur­face are op­tions.

‘‘Var­i­ous things are be­ing looked at,’’ he says.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Do some­thing: Pt Che­va­lier RSA vice pres­i­dent Andrea Twydle and pres­i­dent Ho­race Cadd hope the club will fi­nally get the cross­ing it’s been ask­ing for for more than a decade.

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