No underpass for roundabout

Calum MacLeod.
Calum MacLeod.
A roundabout connecting State Highway 84 and the Three Parks subdivision in Wanaka is on the way, but it will not include an underpass for pedestrians and cyclists.

At least, not for the moment.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has submitted a notice of requirement to the Queenstown Lakes District Council to install the two-lane roundabout on SH84 near the car park for the Mt Iron walking track, but decided on zebra crossings, rather than an underpass for pedestrians to cross.

In its notice, NZTA said the proposal would ''enhance safety for pedestrians and cyclists using this portion of SH84'', although some are not convinced.

The recent addition of both the community pool and Wanaka South School to the subdivision has led many in the Upper Clutha community to call for an underpass to ensure the safety of children getting to and from the area.

Queenstown Lakes District deputy mayor Calum MacLeod said he was ''a little disappointed'' NZTA had not included an underpass in its design, but the council was discussing building and funding the underpass itself.

''I think that council may build the underpass as part of the project.

''There's been talk of whether it should be an underpass or an overpass ... I couldn't care less as long as kids aren't killed.''

How it would be funded was yet to be decided, but Mr MacLeod said Mayor Jim Boult was also in favour and the idea was ''gaining traction''.

Active Transport Wanaka spokesman Simon Telfer was also disappointed NZTA had not included an underpass in its plans for the roundabout, and said it was ''irresponsible'', given the amount of traffic.

''This is 2018 not 1978.

''We are in favour of the roundabout but only with the inclusion of underpasses. They can be built - it just takes a safety first attitude and approach.''

If NZTA can gain the approval of residents and landowners on either side of the proposed roundabout, the proposal will not need to be publicly notified.

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz

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