Can rail relieve our roads?

As the Government lays out 10-year plan for rail investment which includes restoring the run-down network we can consider what this might mean for the stretch of road between Wellington and points north of us.

Some days it seems as though at least half of the traffic flow is made up of huge trucks carrying logs, cars and an enormous variety of other goods. If many of them could be moved to the rail network that would free up our overloaded SH1.

Freight rail will now be funded from the same pot as roads. …

The plan says there has been significant under-investment in the national rail network for decades and large parts of the network are in managed decline.

… state investments will be made to restore the network to a resilient and reliable state and lay the groundwork for growth.

Logging truck in Levin.
Logging truck in Levin.

Horowhenua District Council wants Ō2NL Expressway completed

Council urges Government to commit to completion of Ō2NL Expressway:

Horowhenua District Council is alarmed and concerned at media speculation that the Ōtaki to North of Levin (Ō2NL) Expressway is in danger of being scrapped and that the Minister of Transport is unable to confirm commitment to the project. …

“With significant growth in the region, the catalyst for much of that growth has been the knowledge that the roading network between Wellington and Levin would become safer and more efficient. Horowhenua District Mayor, Bernie Wanden says. …

The Horowhenua community is again being placed in a position of uncertainty which is causing significant stress and anxiety to its residents and businesses. The state highway that splits our community is becoming busier by the day, posing increased risk to the safety of the community. …

Horowhenua District Council is in the middle of its Long Term Plan, with much of that planning, whether it be for Infrastructure or the future revitalisation of the Levin Town Centre, revolving around the Expressway being built and operational in 2029.

Road safety submission by 19 April 2021

Our friends at the Manakau District Community Association have created a submission to the Horowhenua District Council Long-Term Plan that you might like to also sign and submit. It particularly covers options for the intersection of Waikawa Beach Road and SH1. Cover letter: The Road Safety of our Children (13 KB DOCX) :

The Road Safety of our Children, Residents and Traveling Public is paramount to our community.

Please read and sign the submission to the Horowhenua District Council Long Term Plan 2021 -2041 which is seeking support and advocacy from council for both State Highway 1 and the new O2NL expressway as part of its Long Term Plan work programs.

Please support our endeavors to make our community roads safer.

Please download the submission, sign it and email it back to ltp@horowhenua.govt.nz with a copy also sent to manakausecretary@gmail.com.

Submissions close 4pm Monday 19 April 2021.

Manakau District Community Association and Manakau District Community Association – O2NL Sub- committee

The submission: MDCA & MDCA O2NL Submission to LTP (18 KB DOCX).

A few key items of interest for us from the submission:

We are seeking actions and advocacy from Horowhenua District Council (HDC) as part of its Long Term Plan work programmes.

We request that in 2021 HDC advocate to NZTA on behalf of the Manakau community for the following roading improvements/measures on State Highway 1 at Manakau:

  • Reduction of the speed limit through Manakau to 60km
  • Installation of a roundabout or traffic lights at Waikawa Beach Road
  • Installation of a safety measure to aid the passage of pedestrians and cyclists between Manakau village and Waikawa Beach Rd, such as via an overbridge, underpass or time-limited traffic lights

There are many more points in the submission. Please download it, read it, and consider signing and submitting it.

Please help ask HDC to fix issues with Waikawa Beach Road

A few days ago a car rolled near 554 Waikawa Beach Road — apparently a notorious spot. Luckily the sole occupant was uninjured.

Some people have suggested the road needs to be fixed on this corner, but before that can happen the HDC needs to understand that it’s a problem.

If the Council are not aware of problems like potholes, eroding road edges or that a particular corner seems to be a place where lots of accidents happen then no changes will ever be made.

The official word from Councillor Christine Mitchell is that individuals should report such problems to the HDC contact number. Each such report goes into a tracking system — they’ll respond with a case number. The more people who report a problem the more likely Council are to deal with it.

So, if you have a concern about something the Council should deal with, such as a problem corner on Waikawa Beach Road, please report it and keep a record of the case number they give you. Maybe even post that case number here then others could join in and lend weight.

Council contacts: Email: enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz, Phone: 06 366 0999.

Note that the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association can also point out these problems to Council, but that doesn’t carry nearly as much weight as numerous individuals reporting them.

The same applies to other issues around here that Council should help with. If you notice something that needs fixing, please contact Council and report it.

Beware Easter Weekend traffic

In case you’re new to Waikawa Beach you’ll want to know that traffic between Wellington and Levin is always a problem at Easter.

Check Waka Kotahi’s travel information page for SH1 – Kapiti Coast between Peka Peka and Otaki to see when travel is worst (or best). And then hope there aren’t any crashes that close the road.

Indicative chart of travel times.
Indicative chart of travel times.

Another excellent resource is the Facebook Traffic Updates page which tends to be up-to-the-minute with news.

Sample Screen Shot from the Facebook Traffic Updates page.
Sample Screenshot from the Facebook Traffic Updates page.

No Change: intersection SH1 and Waikawa Beach Road, update March 2021

Everyone routinely complains about the difficulties in using the intersection of SH1 and Waikawa Beach Road. This has been the case for several years now.

Early in 2021 the WBRA Committee decided to again try to ‘get something done’ and we began the work of gathering information to come up with a plan and get wide support for it.

Imagine our surprise when we were given a document the Manakau folks had created and sent to Waka Kotahi, and were invited at the last minute to a meeting on 17 February 2021 to discuss that document. See the list of attendees below.

A lot of the discussion was around the specific needs of Manakau folks, for example getting kids to and from the school. However, there was also a fair bit of discussion about the intersection that most concerns us here at Waikawa Beach.

Continue reading “No Change: intersection SH1 and Waikawa Beach Road, update March 2021”