The New Zealand Herald
Car wreck makes graphic point
Council offices targeted by campaigners appalled by road deaths on a section of SH2
Awrecked car has been used by “Fix the Bloody Road” campaigners to graphically illustrate the crash carnage on State Highway 2 to Katikati. The wreck was parked outside the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s offices in First Ave yesterday where public hearings were taking place to help decide roading priorities.
Campaign spokesman Andrew Hollis fetched the wreck from a towtruck company to underline the message that making SH2 safer needed to be a higher priority on the draft Land Transport Plan.
He said the wreck was a visual reminder of what the group was
I hope it will keep people focused on what is really going on on that road. Andrew Hollis on the wreck dumped at council offices
trying to prevent.
“I hope it will keep people focused on what is really going on on that road.”
Yesterday’s hearings before a panel of Bay of Plenty council representatives included a submission from Te Puna businessman Sean Lett, who built the symbolic crosses that line SH2.
Lett said 10 people had died in car crashes within 1km of his home in the past five or six years.
He said after the hearing that he was tired of going out to help pick up the pieces of people bleeding and dying. “I don’t want to fix State Highway 2 — I want a new four-lane road built from Tauranga to Katikati, with a bypass around Katikati.”
He explained this would leave the existing road as a safe road for locals.
Lett said he did not mind crawling into town in long queues of traffic because at least it was safe.
When traffic was going at 90km/ h, he was unable to cross to the other side. “People won’t let you in.” The first priority of the Land Transport Plan should be to build a new four-lane road to Katikati, he said. The new road could be tolled, leaving the local existing road as the free alternative.
Lett said a new highway would be cheaper in the long run than trying to upgrade the existing road with the massive cost of building overbridges to connect the main side roads.
“You can’t four-lane the existing road.”
He called for an immediate reduction in the speed limit on SH2 to 80km/h and more traffic police.
The hearings continue today.