Ballantyne Rd residents John Wellington and Julie Jones,
with their daughter Lucy (3), say this intersection with
Riverbank Rd, near Wanaka, is the site of a potentially
serious accident. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Unless urgent steps are taken to improve a hazardous
rural intersection near Wanaka, nearby residents fear it is a
case of when, not if, a serious accident will occur.
Julie Jones and John Wellington spoke to the Wanaka Community
Board this week of their safety concerns for motorists
travelling through the junction of Ballantyne and Riverbank
The couple, who live on Ballantyne Rd, said cars routinely
failed to give way at the Riverbank Rd stop signs, resulting
in several minor collisions and many near-misses in recent
Many of the transgressors were tourists bypassing Wanaka from
the West Coast who appeared oblivious to the road signage,
but local drivers were equally at fault, they said. In
January, Ms Jones experienced the intersection's dangers
directly when a camper van travelling on Riverbank Rd ignored
the stop sign and slammed into her car as she drove on
''Both the vehicles were written off and I think we were very
lucky there weren't any serious injuries.''
The couple said the problem was getting worse as tourists
were increasingly being directed down Riverbank Rd by their
vehicles' GPS systems.
''I'd really like to see something done quickly to make this
junction safer,'' Ms Jones said.
''I know a lot of it's driver error but there seems to be an
awful lot of driver error there.
''The way the junction is at the moment, I think it's just a
matter of time before there will be a serious accident
Queenstown Lakes District Council crash statistics for the
intersection show there have been eight recorded crashes
there since 2003. However, senior transport, infrastructure
and assets engineer Richard Hilliard said it could take up to
six months for non-fatal crashes to be recorded in the crash
analysis system so some could have occurred since September
that were yet to be entered.
''It should also be noted that not all crashes get entered
into the database as it is based only on reported crashes.''
Cr Lyal Cocks said the community board had already flagged a
redesign of the intersection as ''high priority'', both in
terms of safety and functionality for large turning vehicles.
An annual plan submission would be made for funding, rather
than waiting for the completion of council's transport
strategy review, which could take some time.
Cr Cocks said it would be appropriate to work on the
intersection's redevelopment with Aurora Energy, which was
recently granted consent to establish a sub-station at the
corner of Ballantyne and Riverbank Rds.
Mr Wellington suggested in the interim, rumble strips running
across the road could serve as an auditory and vibratory
reminder to motorists to slow as they approached the
''I believe this is a relatively cheap thing that can be done
''I would urge the community board to investigate this as a
matter of urgency,'' Mr Wellington said.
Board chairwoman Rachel Brown said she would pass on the
suggestion to the council for consideration.