SH1 safety changes — have your say by Wednesday 11 August

From [14 July 2021], Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is asking for feedback from communities in and around Ōtaki and Levin about proposed safety improvements and current speed limits on State Highway 1 (SH1).

In the five years from 2016 to 2020, seven people lost their lives and 28 people were seriously injured on SH1 between Ōtaki and Levin. …

Waka Kotahi is planning a combination of safety improvements to SH1, including painted wide centrelines, side and median barriers, three new turnaround locations and a new roundabout at the SH1/SH57 intersection. Some safety improvements have already been installed in Manakau and Ohau. …

“We want to tap into local knowledge and find out what people think of our proposed infrastructure changes, as well as the current speed limits on SH1 between Taylors Road in Ōtaki and just beyond Kawiu Road north of Levin.

“Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it’s what will most likely to determine whether you or someone you love is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from that crash. That’s why we need to make sure that speeds are safe and appropriate for the road.

“As a busy state highway with both high-risk intersections and rural residences, it is important the speed limits on SH1 reflect the risk on the road. We want to hear what locals and people who travel this route regularly think about the current speed limits, how they use the road and what their concerns might be.”

Feedback gathered through the engagement period will feed into the technical assessment of the road to help Waka Kotahi determine whether to propose speed limit changes to improve safety, where any proposed new speed limits would begin or end, and if any other safety improvements are needed. …

The public engagement period runs from today, Wednesday 14 July, until Wednesday 11 August.

How to have your say

People can find out more and have their say by:

  • Visiting nzta.govt.nz/sh1-south-of-levin
  • Emailing O2NL@nzta.govt.nz
  • Phoning 0508 625 4636, or;
  • Writing to O2NL Engagement, Private Bag 6995, Wellington 6141, or;
  • Attending one of the drop-in sessions:
    • Tuesday 20 July, 5pm–6.30pm at Ohau Hall
    • Tuesday 27 July, 5pm–6.30pm at Ōtaki Memorial Hall
    • Wednesday 28 July, 5pm–7pm at Manakau Hall
    • Saturday 31 July, 10am–2pm at the Ō2NL Project Office, 171 Oxford Street, Levin

Source: Locals asked to have their say on SH1 Ōtaki to Levin improvements | Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Read the SH1 south of Levin safety improvements brochure (PDF).

Work on Ōtaki to North Levin Expressway (Ō2NL) confirmed (again)

As of 03 June 2021: Grant Robertson on Ōtaki to North Levin Expressway: ‘It is going to proceed’.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has delivered some good news to people anxious the proposed Ōtaki to North Levin Expressway (Ō2NL) had been put on the back burner. …

“It is going to proceed.” …

Ōtaki MP Terisa Ngobi said [of this section of SH1] … “It is one of the most dangerous sections of road to drive in New Zealand – in the five years to 2017, there were 49 deaths and serious injuries along the route.

“Sadly, there were two more deaths on Wednesday.” …

“The project includes a separated shared path for walking and cycling running the entire length of the new highway, helping to extend the region’s cycleway.

Fatal crash near Kuku East Road on 02 June 2021

Further to this morning’s notification that the road to Levin was closed, RadioNZ reports:

The crash involved a car and a motorbike and occurred on SH1 between Whakahoro Road and Kuku East Road about 5.35am.

The motorbike rider and pillion passenger died at the scene.

The road was partly reopened around 10.30 am but it is expected to take quite a while for the backlog to clear.

Road to Levin closed, Wednesday morning 02 June 2021

A crash has completely closed the road from Waikawa Beach to Levin this morning:

Reports of a serious car v motorcycle crash just south of Kuku/Levin at the old church corner southbound.

6.40AM Traffic update, Wednesday 2nd June: serious crash SH1 Kuku Levin – SH1 is completely closed til further notice

UPDATE 6.50AM can confirm that the road is completely closed til further notice now – at least a few hours. Only detour is via Palmy/SH2/Wellington

Northbound is now back past North Manakau Rd and southbound is back to the Ohau Domain

Facebook report on road closure.
Facebook report on road closure.

Road accidents stats for 2020

Earlier this year we queried road accident statistics for 2020 (the year of Covid and lockdown) for SH1 in our area. The good news is that with heavily reduced traffic, there were only 8 crashes (none fatal), only 4 of which led to road closures. Our query:

Regarding the stretch of SH1 between the intersection with Mill Road in Ōtaki and the intersection with Hokio Beach Road in Levin, for the calendar year 2020, I would like to know:

  1. How many vehicle accidents were there which closed or led to delays on SH1?
  2. How many people died as a result of vehicle accidents?

In response to a query we also asked:

[…} if you could provide information on

  1. the total number of accidents and then
  2. also delays, whether caused by crashes or other factors

that would be very helpful.

The response:

To provide context to your request, the Traffic Road Event Information System (TREIS) within Waka Kotahi is updated according to the situation of the incident at the time. For instance, the status of any one incident can be changed from caution, to delays, and then to road closure. These are known as situational changes.

I will respond to each of your questions in turn.

a) How many vehicle accidents were there which closed or led to delays on SH1?

In 2020, TREIS has a record of eight crashes on the stretch of State Highway 1, between the intersection of Mill Road in Ōtaki and the intersection of Hokio Beach Road in Levin, that led to the incident status being recorded as caution. These eight crashes were all subsequently updated to delays, and four of them were further updated to road closure.

b) How many people died as a result of vehicle accidents

In 2020, the Crash Analysis System (CAS) shows there have been no fatal crashes recorded on SH1, between the intersection of Mill Road in Ōtaki and the intersection of Hokio Beach Road in Levin.

Please note, Waka Kotahi manages the CAS; New Zealand’s primary tool for capturing information on where, when and how road crashes occur. The system is updated once a Traffic Crash Report (TCR) is received from NZ Police sometime after the crash. Due to the police reporting time frame and subsequent data processing, there is a lag from the time of a crash to full and correct crash records within CAS. Therefore, data for the 2020 year is not complete.

c) the total number of accidents and then

For crashes recorded in 2020, the CAS shows there were 4 serious, 8 minor, and 14 non-injury crashes that occurred on SH1, between the intersection of Mill Road in Ōtaki and the intersection of Hokio Beach Road in Levin.

d) also delays, whether caused by crashes or other factors that would be very helpful

Please refer to my response for question a) above. No further delays have been recorded in TREIS.

OIA-7561 Response.pdf

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.