No right turn for Paekak Hill traffic

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 15:59 13/12/2012
Paekakariki Hill Rd
KAPITI OBSERVER

Paekakariki State Highway 1 intersection. Motorist turning left out of Paekakariki Hill Road.

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A major safety revamp of the Paekakariki Hill Rd intersection with State Highway 1 will go ahead in January.

Meeting today, Kapiti Coast District councillors approved the NZ Transport Agency project at the troubled intersection of SH1, Paekakariki Hill Rd and Beach Rd.

A briefing on the work by the agency's Emma Tonks reveals Paekakariki Hill Rd traffic will be allowed to only turn left.

She said drivers intending to head north would have to cut through the old BP carpark, before making a right turn at the end of the carpark.

Or they would be able to continue south then turn around at the Fisherman's Table restaurant to double back, she said.

Ms Tonks said there would be be no right turns into Hill Rd from the south - with traffic diverted through Paekakariki's Ames St, onto Beach Rd then across SH1. Hill Rd traffic will not be allowed to cross SH1 directly to Beach Rd.

Ms Tonks said the agency considered other options. including traffic lights, a roundabout and "seagull' intersection with right turn lanes in and out of the Hill Rd.

''When you put signals at that junction you end up with an about two kilometre queue along the state highway, which obviously wasn't acceptable to the NZTA.''

She said there is no space for a roundabout - and the seagull type intersection was considered likely to cause more crashes.

Mayor Jenny Rowan said a series of designs were examined over the last decade in a fraught process.

''There have been no agreements to date...this is the closest that we have got, as a community, to an agreement on improving this intersection. This is not what we would like, it's not what we had hoped for - [but] money has been found in the budget to do this in January, to bring about more safety arrangements to this intersection.''

Ms Rowan said it was ''not good enough'' to wait till Transmission Gully for traffic volumes to decrease.

''The reality is we need to make some improvements and we need to make them now - and the offer is there.''

Meanwhile Paekakariki Community Board chair Janet Holborow said the board preferred the option of forcing traffic to go to the Fisherman's Table to make the turn back north.

''But we agreed to monitor this situation and see how it works.''

Ms Holborow said keeping through-traffic to the 70kmh limit will be important to making the intersection safe.

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