Fatal crossing under scrutiny

The pedestrian crossing at the centre of a fatal crash earlier this year involving a mobility scooter will come under scrutiny as roading authorities review Ashburton's main road.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said pedestrian safety would be a major factor considered in a strategic transport review of State Highway 1 through Tinwald.

It confirmed the contentious pedestrian crossing would be part of the review.

It comes after the death of an 89-year-old man who was fatally struck on his mobility scooter on the Archibald Street pedestrian crossing in June.

Francis Brendan Tully had been on his way to buy lozenges for a sore throat. The accident prompted NZTA to reveal improvements to the road would be likely.

"The review is looking at all issues relating to access to and along the state highway, including for right-turning vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, as well as safety,'' NZTA Canterbury Highway manager Colin Knaggs said.

He said the review had been underway for the past six months, involving talks with residents groups, the education sector, business association, community groups and the Ashburton District Council that will continue into next year.

Tinwald School principal Peter Livingstone has been strong in his opposition to the current pedestrian on Archibald Street which he believes needs major improvements or moving to another part of the highway.

"Once all the issues are identified it would be a matter of working with the Ashburton District Council on the best solutions, designing what is planned and then securing funding,'' Mr Knaggs said.

The work may not be carried out until at least 2015.

- By Myles Hume of the Ashburton Guardian 

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