Traffic-light call due next month

The feasibility of installing traffic lights at the intersection of Otipua Rd and Church St should be known by the end of next month.

If deemed practical, they could be installed this financial year.

Timaru District Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon is keen to see lights installed at the T intersection to overcome safety concerns about having a pedestrian crossing in Church St so close to the intersection.

Police have voiced concern over the safety of the crossing, which is used extensively by students from nearby Bluestone School.

"Changing the road rules, with left-turning traffic not having to give way, means they definitely speed around the corner," Mr Dixon said.

Investigations into both the feasibility and cost of installing lights should be completed by the end of November.

Mr Dixon said if the report indicated the intersection layout could accommodate lights, the next question would be whether the council could afford it.

There was $250,000 in the council's 2012-13 budget for the project.

Installing lights at the intersection of Evans and Te Weka streets had cost the New Zealand Transport Agency about $400,000, but at this stage there was no plan to alter the kerb and channelling at the Otipua Rd-Church St intersection.

Mr Dixon said the project would need to be reconsidered if road-widening and land purchase were needed, as they were costly.

The Timaru Herald