New interchange a ‘‘lolly scramble’’
A proposed Upper Hutt interchange is a sign of an election time lolly scramble, Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson said.
National’s promise of a $72 million motorway interchange on SH2 in Lower Hutt if reelected raised eyebrows, given the government’s reluctance to tackle issues on SH2 in Masterton and Carterton.
Yet Patterson, who has been vocal in her support of roading projects, said it was a sign of the times.
‘‘It’s just a lolly scramble,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s election time. I don’t really know how something like that could jump ahead when there are various processes in place.’’
Two SH2 intersections - Norfolk Rd in Carterton and Ngaumutawa Rd in Masterton - have been described as accidents waiting to happen.
Patterson said the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) had been looking into safety improvements for the Masterton to Carterton transport corridor.
‘‘They’re looking at the roundabouts on Norfolk Rd and Ngaumutawa Rd, along with other safety improvements along the Masterton to Carterton corridor,’’ she said.
‘‘Where there’s an urgent safety need NZTA have acted very quickly, and SH2 from Carterton to Masterton has been recommended as an area that needs work done on it.’’
She pointed to Mt Bruce, which was recently allocated nearly $5 million, as an example of action taken where safety was paramount.
Patterson has previously spoken out about a lack of action from government agencies on SH2.
‘‘Ngaumutawa Road is a dangerous intersection and needs to be fixed. People have told me they see near-misses almost daily,’’ she said.
‘‘I also know that Carterton Mayor John Booth has been trying to get something done about the Norfolk Road intersection for some time as well, which is well known for serious accidents.’’
McCarthy Transport manager Stan Sayer said he met with the old transport authority 15 years ago to talk about the problems with the Ngaumutawa Road intersection and it was frustrating nothing had been done about it.
‘‘Our truck drivers don’t like using it, because it is like russian roulette pulling out there sometimes.’’
The intersection of Ngaumutawa Road and SH 2 in Masterton.