Stop sign unlikely to be installed at accident-prone intersection

NO CHANGE: The New Zealand Transport Agency has turned down pleas to have a stop sign installed at an accident-prone intersection in Waddington.

Waddington residents have lost a battle for a stop sign at an accident prone intersection.

The New Zealand Transport Association has turned down a plea for the stop sign at the intersection of State Highway 73 and Waimakariri Gorge Rd.

In a letter to the district council’s road safety sub­committee, NZTA lead strategic interventions adviser Jenny Dickinson said a stop sign is normally used where there is limited visibility approaching the intersection.

“For drivers on Waimakariri Gorge Rd there is good visibility in both directions on SH73, which normally means a give way sign is an appropriate tool for drivers,” she said.

But Ms Dickinson said NZTA will talk to police to see if there are other helpful interventions or changes that could be made to the intersection to make it safer.

It comes after a letter was presented to the Sheffield-Waddington Community Committee in February by resident Bob Scott.

The letter discussed concerns the current give way sign is difficult for people to see when they pull up to the intersection and the corner is busy with signage.

Already two serious crashes have been recorded at the intersection this year, one a fatal.

Three other crashes that resulted in both serious and minor injuries were recorded at the intersection between 2014-2016.

Mr Scott said he was disappointed but would like to think they had actually considered improving it. “The corner does need tidying up . . . are they going to do anything about the corner or are they going to wait until there is another fatality,” he said.

District councillor Bob Mugford said a driver can “see both ways for miles” and he couldn’t see how accidents happen, but they do. He said he didn’t think a stop sign would make a lot of difference, but the community could continue to take it up with the road safety committee, which he is a member of.

Nearby resident Casey de Bruin said while he is convinced it is a driver issue, if something needed to be done a stop sign would be the answer.

Senior constable Andy Grant said whether there is a give way sign or stop sign, drivers still need to give way to the traffic on State Highway 73.

He said there are a lot of signs at the intersection which may make it difficult for drivers, particularly tourists, to take in, ­and the signage could be made clearer.