Road funds bypass Mackenzie

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The Mackenzie district has missed out on the first instalment of a $600 million programme aimed at improving notorious road danger spots.
Up to $100 million will be spent annually over six years on the Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme, including $21.6 million for roads identified as high risk in the South Island.
The Mackenzie district, where 314 crashes occurred between 2009 and 2013, does not feature on the list released last week.
It would possibly benefit in the future, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transport said. ‘‘The Safe Roads Alliance is identifying and prioritising high-risk rural highways for improvement based on solid evidence, including crash history, traffic volumes and road safety ratings.
‘‘This is a long-term programme.
‘‘Not all of the sites to be improved have yet been identified, and further investment for improvements to South Island sites is likely.’’
The aim was to reduce New Zealand’s road toll, the spokeswoman said.
The wider programme would result in improvements made to more than 90 high-risk sites on rural state highways in 14 regions.
Mackenzie district roads were notorious for crashes and South Canterbury Road Safety coordinator Daniel Naude said he would like to see the area benefit from the funding.
Work to make the roads safer has taken place in some parts over recent years, including the instalment of rumble lines and arrows painted on the road to help keep drivers on the correct side of the road.
He wanted to see those improvements extended to other parts of the district.
Single-vehicle crashes were the biggest problem in the area.
‘‘There’s going-off-the-road crashes into objects like trees and ditches and I think the rumble lines could help.’’
Extension of the arrow project was also a possibility, so long as it did not make the road surface too slippery for motorcyclists, he said.
He also wanted to see areas created for people to pull over safely at popular sightseeing locations, where people ‘‘come around the bend and say, ‘Wow, there’s a photo moment’’’.