New Wind­sor in­ter­sec­tion gets safer

Central Leader - - MILESTONES - HUGH COLLINS

New Wind­sor School stu­dents are now safer than ever from po­ten­tial stray ve­hi­cles.

But there is still work to be done, prin­ci­pal Glenn Ber­ming­ham says.

The pri­mary school sits on the busy in­ter­sec­tion of Maioro St and New Wind­sor Rd which sees 32,000 cars pass­ing through each day.

With hun­dreds of stu­dents pour­ing through the in­ter­sec­tion be­fore and af­ter school, con­cern has long been ex­pressed that it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore a se­ri­ous in­ci­dent oc­curs be­tween a ve­hi­cle and a stu­dent.

‘‘It’s an ex­traor­di­nar­ily wide in­ter­sec­tion…the health and safety of our chil­dren has been com­pro­mised for a pe­riod of time,’’ Ber­ming­ham says.

While the school has worked to re­port traf­fic of­fences and had a com­mu­nity con­sta­ble in­volved, a long-term so­lu­tion was paramount, he says.

As a re­sult, the school and New Lynn MP David Cunliffe be­gan pe­ti­tion­ing Auck­land Trans­port in Fe­bru­ary to in­vest in safety mea­sures around the in­ter­sec- tion. This quickly be­gan to ma­te­ri­alise with two key fea­tures be­ing com­pleted at the start of July.

The first was a heavy grit sur- face to pre­vent speed­ing ve­hi­cles from slid­ing out and crash­ing onto the foot­path. The sec­ond was two high­lighted red pedes­trian strips which alert driv­ers of ped- es­trian cross­ings. ’’I’ve been chuffed at what’s hap­pened so far,’’ Ber­ming­ham says. How­ever the rail­ings presently around the in­ter­sec­tion are not nearly strong enough to pre­vent a ve­hi­cle from run­ning onto the pave­ment, he says.

‘‘We want some sort of raised bar­rier that would put the chil­dren just slightly above the road or give some level of pro­tec­tion.’’

New Lynn MP David Cunliffe says Auck­land Trans­port is com­mit­ted to ei­ther a high grade re­in­forced fence or a ‘‘grade sep­a­rated foot­path’’.

‘‘They’ve given me a ver­bal com­mit­ment that they will do one of those two and they said most likely rais­ing the foot­path. [AT] do re­gard this as a pri­or­ity, they un­der­stand that it’s a safety is­sue. And they have com­mit­ted to take ac­tion.’’ AT spokesper­son Mark Han­nan says a ‘‘yel­low hatch­ing’’ will also be in­stalled at the in­ter­sec­tion which will fur­ther dis­cour­age driv­ers from block­ing the pedes­trian cross­ings.

PHOTO: HUGH COLLINS

New Lynn MP David Cunliffe and New Wind­sor School prin­ci­pal Glenn Ber­ming­ham.

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