Barrier to stop out-of-control cars


Users of the cycle path next to Whakatu Drive will have extra protection from next month when a $200,000 wire-rope barrier is finished.

The 2.5km wire rope edge barrier, now under construction, is designed to protect people using the shared pathway from errant vehicles.

NZTA’s Mark Owen says Whakatu Drive is one of the busiest roads in Nelson with a daily vehicle count of 21,000, and a new barrier will put proven lifesaving technology between walkers and cyclists and the thousands of cars that pass them every day.

“We already know that the median barrier we’ve installed down the centreline is very effective, especially as it has been hit on a number of occasions. Every time it’s struck, we know that’s potentially a nasty crash that has been prevented.

“We also want to keep people enjoying the waterfront safe from vehicles that could possibly lose control, and a barrier along the edge of the road will give people peace of mind and potentially save lives,” he says.

“If motorists lose control, the barriers are designed to deflect motorists back into their lane, which means they won’t run the risk of hitting someone who is enjoying an evening bike ride or stroll. It’s also safer for the motorist, so it’s a real win-win.”

The chair of the regional transport committee, councillor Eric Davy, says it’s great to see this work is now underway. “It will hopefully encourage more cyclists to get on their bikes with greater confidence.

“Installing a barrier to separate cyclists from traffic will help to foster cycling’s popularity in Nelson by providing a safe, healthy and appealing travel choice for the community,” he says.

The work is being done by Higgins and is expected to be finished by mid to late July.