SH33 safety plans to be re­vealed by NZTA

Rotorua Review - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTER

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency is set to un­veil safety im­prove­ment plans for State High­way 33 be­tween Te Ngae Junc­tion and Paen­garoa -a stretch of road that has seen 16 deaths and 46 se­ri­ous in­juries be­tween 2006 and 2015.

Most of th­ese crashes were head-on col­li­sions or driv­ers run­ning off the road and hit­ting trees, poles or deep ditches.

NZTA is to hold three drop-in ses­sion to out­line the plans.

The safety im­prove­ments have been de­vel­oped af­ter dis­cus­sions with lo­cals and stake­hold­ers ear­lier this year. They in­clude a wide cen­tre­line from Te Ngae to Paen­garoa, flex­i­ble road­side safety bar­ri­ers at high risk lo­ca­tions, safety im­prove­ments in Mourea, Okere Falls and Paen­garoa, rum­ble strips and a south-bound pass­ing lane be­tween Paen­garoa and Okere Falls.

The Trans­port Agency’s di­rec­tor safety and en­vi­ron­ment, Harry Wil­son, said the plan that is be­ing sug­gested will make this road safer but we still want to hear more from the pub­lic.

‘‘The safety team had great con­ver­sa­tions with the wider com­mu­nity and in­ter­ested groups about their con­cerns with this road and the feed­back re­ceived has helped shape the pro­posed safety im­prove­ments,’’ Wil­son said.

‘‘The com­mu­nity drop in ses­sions are a chance for peo­ple to re­view the plans, share their thoughts, and dou­ble check noth­ing im­por­tant has been missed.

‘‘We’d like peo­ple to come along and ask ques­tions, give feed­back and meet the team who will be work­ing on this project. Or if they can’t make it, there is also the op­tion of pro­vid­ing feed­back on­line.’’

The 34km long route will be com­pleted in three stages. Stage one, near Paen­garoa, be­gins later this year. The two re­main­ing sec­tions are ex­pected to be un­der­way next year and in 2019.

Through the Safe Roads pro­gramme the gov­ern­ment is in­vest­ing $600m over six years, tar­get­ing the preven­tion of 900 deaths.

The drop-in ses­sions are be­ing held on Wed­nes­day Oc­to­ber 11, 3pm-6pm at the Paen­garoa Hall, Thurs­day Oc­to­ber 12 at the Okere Falls Store, 3pm-6pm and on Fri­day Oc­to­ber 13 at the Pikiao Rugby League Club, 1pm-4pm. The fi­nal vote counts are in but the Ro­torua and Wa­iariki elec­tion re­sults re­main un­changed.

Na­tional MP Todd McClay re­tained his seat with 18,788 votes, 7901 ahead of clos­est ri­val Labour can­di­date Ben Sand­ford on 10,887.

The third-high­est polling can­di­date was New Zealand First list MP Fletcher Tabuteau with 3062 votes.

Green Party can­di­date Richard Gillies se­cured 1491 votes, fol­lowed by Ma¯ori Party can­di­date Wendy Bid­dle with 702.

In to­tal 36,117 peo­ple voted in the Ro­torua elec­torate, Na­tional se­cur­ing the ma­jor­ity of the party vote at 48.1 per cent against Labour’s 32.2 per cent.

Ta­mati Cof­fey se­cured the Wa­iariki elec­torate for Labour with 12,362 votes, a ma­jor­ity of 1719 over Ma¯ori Party in­cum­bent Te Ururoa Flavell on 10,643.

Labour also se­cured the lions share of the party vote in the Wa­iariki elec­torate with 58.1 per cent of the votes.

In to­tal 24,329 peo­ple voted.

SUPPLIED

The stretch of State High­way 33 has claimed 16 lives.

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