Transport Choices Ōamaru
Waka Kotahi advised Waitaki District Council in late October that due to a change in Government, there needed to be a pause in making CERF commitments for Transport Choices until the incoming Government provided clear direction on its priorities for transport investment.
This correspondence followed previous indicative advice from Waka Kotahi regarding the results of a potential change of Government. It was anticipated in the Waitaki project plan, so Council is not exposed to anything in terms of funding commitments.
The proposed Transport Choices Oamaru programme, involving new signalised intersections and side road entrances in the area around six Oamaru schools in the North End are affected by this pause. Council had anticipated this potential issue in its project plans and timing. Waka Kotahi have been clear that they are awaiting direction from the incoming Government on future funding commitments.
The upcoming Transport Choices Ōamaru upgrades plan to improve pedestrian safety across thirteen side road entrances, two intersections, and three refuge crossings in Ōamaru’s North End. We anticipate that completion of these works will provide safer walking routes for all pedestrians along the west side of Thames Highway.
The upgrades are fully funded by Waka Kotahi (NZTA) through the Government’s Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and support the following two CERF outcomes:
- People walking or cycling should be provided with safe, convenient crossing facilities at locations where the desired route crosses a street.
- At side streets, priority should be given to pedestrians and people cycling on raised facilities where possible.
Street Entrance Upgrades
The thirteen side-road entrance upgrades are on the west side of Thames Highway/SH1 between Orwell Street and Stirling Street. They will provide a pavement level crossing across each street entrance, which will be narrowed by changes to the kerb lines as indicated in the images below.
The effect of these new side road entrances will be reduce turning speed of vehicles from Thames Highway onto side-streets by between 5 and 10kph. This has a significant effect on the outcome of crashes, particularly those involving children and young people.
There will be no loss of parking on the side roads because of these upgrades, but it will ensure pedestrians have a significantly safer route along that side of Thames Highway.
This work will be carried out between early summer 2023 and March 2024.
At Arundel Street/Regina Lane, the intersection will have four new traffic signal-controlled pedestrian crossings and new lane-marking for turning vehicles.
This will increase pedestrian safety across all three roads, reduce crash incidents at the intersection, and resolve existing issues regarding the pedestrian crossing near the New World entrance/exit.
At Redcastle Road, the intersection will have four new traffic signal-controlled pedestrian crossings and new lane-marking for turning vehicles.
There will also be two additional refuge crossings placed between the Arundel Street & Regina Lane intersection and the Redcastle road intersection to allow pedestrians to safely cross Thames Highway at alternative locations. They will be sited between Sandringham and College Street, and between Waitaki Avenue and Balmoral Street.
This will mean there are a total of nine crossing points on Thames Highway. From north to south there will be two signal controlled at Redcastle Road, two refuge crossings between Sandringham and College Street, and between Waitaki Ave and Balmoral Street, two signal controlled at the Arundel/Regina intersection, one upgraded signal controlled crossing at Harlech Street, the existing signal controlled at the North End shops and an upgrade to the refuge crossing between Ettrick and Conway Street.
The overall aim is to create a safe, appealing and accessible pedestrian route between Redcastle Road and Orwell Street on the west side of Thames Highway, while also offering more safe crossing points over the highway.
Transport Choices Information
- The Transport Choices Oamaru project is fully funded by Waka Kotahi (NZTA) through the Government’s Climate Emergency Response Fund.
- These upgrades and signalisation will not affect the Waitaki District Council’s existing road maintenance or emergency repair funding budgets.
- The upgrades to the street entrances along Thames Highway/SH1 will shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians and provide a level crossing height from pavement across the street.
- Street entrance upgrades will also ensure motorists will enter side-roads from Thames Highway/SH1 at a significantly reduced speed, improving injury/fatality outcomes from potential road traffic accidents.
- The signalisation of the Redcastle Road and Arundel/Regina junctions will address existing issues with the current crossings and traffic flows while providing safe ways for pedestrians to cross side-streets, and the main highway.
- The budget for the project is 3 million, and works are expected to begin in early- summer 2023 and continue until March 2024, conditions permitting.