Safety might be improving on the stretch of road between Ōtaki and Levin. While frequent congestion is still obvious, and perhaps even getting worse, the number of crashes and fatalities has declined between 2018 and 2019.
In response to an Official Information Request we received the following information.
Crashes reported to the Wellington Transport Operations Centre on SH1 between Mill Road (Ōtaki) and Hokio Beach Road (Levin):
In 2018 there were 64 crashes. 12 incidents required the road to be closed and 2 were recorded as causing delays. The remaining 50 incidents were recorded as the road remained open with no delays.
In 2019 there were 43 crashes. 4 incidents required the road to be closed and another 3 were recorded as causing delays. The remaining 36 were recorded as the road remained open with no delays.
In 2018 four people died as a result of four vehicle crashes.
In 2019 one person died as a result of one vehicle crash.
We all know how problematic SH1 is between the Ōtaki roundabout and the corner of Hokio Beach Road in Levin (by Gipsy Caravans). In 2019 we kept a running log, based mainly on the NZTA Twitter account, of crashes and congestion that affect us here at Waikawa Beach.
Key details are below, but in summary: 7 crashes that closed the road or caused congestion, and 9 other days where congestion in that area was a problem. There were also many occasions where congestion between Wellington and Ōtaki was a problem.
Recent winds, tides and usage have made the beach entrance off Manga Pirau Street difficult for vehicles. The Association contacted Horowhenua District Council, and after a site visit we’ve received this info from Ben Wood,Parks and Property Officer:
An update on the beach access works, we have received approval from Mr. Miritana to regrade the entrance to the beach. Our contractor has this earmarked for Friday [29 November 2019].
There will be mulch added to the mix, this should help retain the entrance shape but is purely experimental in this particular situation. We would normally add it to dunes where there is a risk of wind and wave action disrupting plantings so I’m unsure how it will behave under vehicle disruption.
NZTA say that safety is a major issue for this region, so they have a number of safety initiatives underway on SH1 Ōtaki to Levin:
A review of speed limits on SH1 from Ōtaki to Levin will begin in the near future. While technical advice will be an important part of this review, local knowledge and experience of using these roads is also vital to this process, and we will be actively seeking input and feedback from the community.
If you have comments on the safety of SH1 or speed limits between Ōtaki and Levin please add them on this blog post so the WBRA Committee knows and understands your views. I expect the Committee will want to make a submission on behalf of the Waikawa Beach community.
Of particular interest for all of us of course is the intersection with Waikawa Beach Road.
Comments you make on the blog post may be quoted in any submission we put in.
Another option is to email your comments to the Secretary, but leaving comments here allows others in the community to add their responses and discuss the ideas.