Safety upgrades for rural Tairāwhiti roads

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

High-risk areas on rural roads around Gisborne will receive $20mil in government funding for improved safety measures in response to the rising road toll.  The Safety Boost Programme will enable NZTA to implement upgrades on the ground quickly.

Measures including rumble strips, widening the shoulders on the road, improving the signage and roadside safety barriers in high-risk locations will be implemented. 

The Gisborne District Council has welcomed the upcoming changes.

Gisborne District Council Mayor Meng Foon says, “There are many accidents on our roads, there are a number of cars that hit fences, that hit trees, some drivers have died and passengers too.”

National Director for Safety and Environment with NZTA, Harry Wilson says rumble strips reduce the chance of a crash by 25% and reduce the chance of someone going off the road by 42%.

These are all relevant issues on the East Coast.

Foon says, “There are a number of trucks on our roads that have flipped or fallen into the bush, that's a concern so we are grateful for the government support in providing funding to make our roads safer for everyone on the East Coast.”

Eleven roads will be improved, including SH2 between Wairoa and Gisborne, SH2 between Gisborne and Matawai and SH35 between Gisborne and Tolaga Bay.

In the long term, work with median barriers will be undertaken which will stop people crossing centre lines. 

The work will begin on the ground in the next few weeks.