Trust must make changes to curb crashes on corner
Seven in hospital after accidents at same spot, writes Belinda Feek.
The Home of Cycling Trust has to modify exit and entry points to its new velodrome site to help prevent further crashes happening on a troublesome State Highway 1 corner.
New Zealand Transport Agency staff and police were due to meet on Saturday to discuss what, if anything, further they could do to stop crashes after a crash outside St Peter's School last Monday.
A 32-year-old Cambridge woman pulled out in front of a northbound car, carrying four Palmerston North women. A similar crash happened at the same spot a week earlier.
Seven were hospitalised, but as of yesterday, two Palmerston North women, aged 47 and 21, remain in a stable condition at Waikato Hospital.
In response to Waikato Times' questions about the corner, NZTA state highway manager Kay Clark said in giving their consent to the Home of Cycling, NZTA issued the trust a number of conditions to help minimise traffic concerns, including effective and safe traffic management around events; for the trust to undertake physical improvements to the existing accessways, prior to the centre's opening in December and the forming of a Home of Cycling implementation and monitoring committee.
That committee must include representatives from NZTA, Waipa District Council, St Peter's School and police.
The committee would ensure conditions of the consent were carried out, she said.
"NZTA is continuing to liaise with the Home of Cycling Charitable Trust on discussion around street lighting, signage improvements and intersection improvements."
Ms Clark said the section of road would become a "local road" when the Cambridge section of the Waikato expressway was finished and result in a 60 per cent drop in traffic.
But there had been a drop in crashes since the section of road was modified in 2008, she said.
In the five years prior to March 2008 there were 15 crashes. Of those 15, three specifically related to St Peter's School and SH1.
There have been seven crashes - including the latest two - in the approximate four years since then with three occurring at St Peter's exits or entrances. Of the total 22, two had involved serious injury.
Home of Cycling Trust chairman Geoff Balme earlier declined to comment about the trust's plans for the velodrome entry and exit points.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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