The shock death of a much-loved member of the Nelson cycling community has compelled the NZTA to extend a consultation period on how make a notorious stretch of road safer.
Ann Rigg died on SH6 at the intersection with Glen Rd in Wakapuaka on Friday morning. She was on a training ride for an event that was due to take place later this month.
The following day, in honour of their friend, about 60 Tasman Wheelers members took to the roads to ride some of Ann’s favourite routes.
The club announced the news of their “much loved” member “with a heavy heart”.
Member Vicky Shelling says that the event brought riders young and old.
“What we had in common was that [Ann] touched our lives in some way.”
She says many spoke of her strength, determination and grit.
Ann and her husband Peter had been part owners in Page and Blackmore before selling several years ago and were active and enthusiastic members of the Tasman Wheelers.
Peter told the group that he was going to miss her “terribly”.
“Just knowing that she was so popular in the riding fraternity is extremely gratifying at this time.”
It was the first of two further cyclist crashes over the past few days, with one rider suffering minor injuries on the Ridgeway on Sunday and another on Waimea Rd, suffering serious injuries on Monday.
The intersection where Ann was killed has long been the cause of concern for locals with many being part of a long-term campaign be reduce the speed limit along the whole highway to 80 kilometres an hour.
Now NZTA have also agreed to extend a consultation period on the road.
Glen resident Paula Fearn says she feels passionately about speaking up about the intersection and the State Highway.
“If nothing is said then it’s not an acknowledgement of the woman who lost her life on Friday. People become complacent and we let it go, but we need to speak up, enough is enough, that intersection has to change.”
She also worries about her sons getting on and off school bus as the roads “get busier and busier”.
The NZTA Safer Roads Project is looking at how to make safety improvements to State Highway 6 between Nelson and Blenheim.
Between 2008 and 2017, 19 people died and 90 were seriously injured in crashes on this stretch of road.
NZTA developed a proposal of additional safety measures such as wider shoulders and median barriers down the centre line to make the road safer.
The proposal went out for public consultation earlier this year but closed on March 31.
After Nelson Weekly spoke to NZTA on Monday, they agreed to extend the consultation period by another two weeks.
People can email [email protected] to have their say on what would make the highway safer.