Roundabout only option
Lowering the speed limit on State Highway 1 in Spring Creek will not reduce the high risk of fatal or serious accidents, a Marlborough Roads safety expert says.
About 15 people attended a public meeting at the Junction Hotel in Spring Creek, north of Blenheim, yesterday evening to discuss options to improve safety at the intersection of SH1 and Rapaura and Ferry roads.
Marlborough Roads senior safety engineer Andrew James said the intersection was considered a black spot in Marlborough and is ranked 20th in the top 100 most dangerous intersections in New Zealand, based on figures from the past five years.
Spring Creek residents were consulted after a roundabout at the intersection was chosen as the preferred option to reduce the risk of serious crashes.
However, Spring Creek businesses have argued that the roundabout would only increase gridlock with turning trucks and cars getting stuck waiting for trains to pass at the railway line.
The speed limit on SH1 in Spring Creek was reduced to 70kmh in 2011. Prior to that, a crash happened every 2.4 months. That has decreased to every 7.3 months.
Reducing the speed further would not remove the potential for serious or fatal crashes, which was the key objective, Mr James said.
"We're trying to make designs so if people make mistakes, they don't pay with their lives."
Other options, including installing traffic lights and extending Gane St, were quashed after being researched, he said. Marlborough Roads was in the "investigation phase" and would begin designing the new roundabout if and when it got funding. A new design would then be put out for public consultation.
The Marlborough Express