Im­prove­ments for driv­ers

CHB Mail - - News - BY CLIN­TON LLEWELLYN

Com­plaints from frus­trated mo­torists about ma­jor road­works along State High­way 2 in CHB has forced the NZ Trans­port Agency to im­ple­ment traf­fic man­age­ment changes it says will re­sult in “less in­con­ve­nience” for driv­ers.

NZTA has con­firmed it has re­ceived at least five com­plaints since May when work on the $20 mil­lion project to im­prove safety along SH2 be­tween Pakipaki and Waipuku­rau started in earnest.

The new­est com­plaint was lodged by Waipuku­rau com­muter Kristy Til­yard, who works at Hawke's Bay hospi­tal in Hast­ings. With hun­dreds of ve­hi­cles com­mut­ing north be­tween 7am and 8am, she said the re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of au­to­mated traf­fic lights around Te Hauke had re­sulted in traf­fic snarls “all the way back to Waipawa” some morn­ings.

She felt the au­to­mated lights were “com­plete overkill” with a “hand­ful of work­ers dither­ing around with road cones and no ac­tual main­te­nance work to be seen”.

“[It's] so in­cred­i­bly an­noy­ing each morn­ing. Why can they not man­age this bet­ter, or wait un­til after 8am or at least de­vise a plan to keep traf­fic flow­ing bet­ter,” asked Til­yard, who claimed it was the most poor­ly­man­aged project she had ever seen.

“Travel time is in­creased by at least 20 min­utes or more each morn­ing — and all for widen­ing the verge on the side of the road.”

Til­yard emailed her com­plaint to the NZTA hop­ing the con­trac­tors would be di­rected by the NZTA to im­prove their work prac­tices and traf­fic man­age­ment plan.

Her com­plaint may have had the de­sired ef­fect, based on com­ments made to the CHB Mail by NZTA's re­gional trans­port sys­tems man­ager, Wayne Old­field.

“We reg­u­larly mon­i­tor traf­fic man­age­ment on this site, and have pro­vided feed­back to the sub-con­trac­tor. As a re­sult, we have made some ad­just­ments in the way traf­fic man­age­ment is im­ple­mented, and this will re­sult in less in­con­ve­nience for driv­ers. We'd like to thank the pub­lic for their pa­tience while we im­ple­ment safety im­prove­ments on this high­way,” Old­field said.

With many newly ar­rived CHB res­i­dents still com­mut­ing north ev­ery day for work, the New to CH' Face­book group re­cently ran a poll to gauge in­ter­est in a car pool­ing sys­tem or if there was de­mand for a daily train or bus ser­vice. Page cre­ator Bobby Ker­rins, who com­mutes to Hast­ings, said he hit the road early enough to miss the holdups.

“But my part­ner and a lot of oth­ers I know who do com­mute, are sick of the road­works,” he said. The poll showed a clear de­mand for a daily bus or train ser­vice to Napier and Hast­ings, he said.

The in­tro­duc­tion of au­to­mated traf­fic lights along SH2 is re­sult­ing in 20-minute de­lays some morn­ings, com­muters claim.

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