Fears road changes not enough

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

Pro­posed changes to San­dring­ham Rd for the Rugby World Cup won’t im­prove traf­fic safety, say res­i­dents.

Auck­land City Coun­cil plans to re­align the road and add bus lanes as part of the $22 mil­lion re­vamp planned for the Eden Park precinct.

But res­i­dent Phil Chard says the changes don’t ad­dress the high crash rate on San­dring­ham Rd.

He says the bends be­tween New North Rd and Wal­ters Rd are an ac­ci­dent black spot.

“From what I’ve been hear­ing about mov­ing the houses back and tak­ing the lamp posts away, there’s go­ing to be very lit­tle be- tween the cars and the houses,” he says.

“It’s a lit­tle bit of a blind spot and they put the pedes­trian cross­ing in a funny place,” Mr Chard says.

“I’ve nearly been hit a few times at that cross­ing, both as a pedes­trian and a cy­clist.”

He says there’s been an in­crease in crashes on the bend re­cently.

“I’ve been here eight years and there’s been very much a surge in them lately.”

An­other San­dring­ham Rd res­i­dent, who wouldn’t be named, says widen­ing and straight­en­ing the road will en­cour­age driv­ers to go faster.

“The prob­lem we al­ready have is speed,” she says.

“The changes don’t ad­dress the is­sues we have now, and it’s go­ing to keep hap­pen­ing un­til some­one is killed.”

Forty crashes have been re­ported in the area in the past five years.

Auck­land City Coun­cil trans­port com­mit­tee chair­man Ken Bag­u­ley says the Eden Park precinct changes do ad­dress safety is­sues.

Im­prove­ments in­clude the re­design of the San­dring­ham Rd bends, changes to the Wal­ters Rd in­ter­sec­tion, and “traf­fic calm­ing” mea­sures on Wal­ters Rd.

Mr Bag­u­ley says plans are still to be con­firmed af­ter con­sid­er­ing feed­back from the pub­lic.

Sub­mis­sions on the plan closed on Tues­day.

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