Rumble strips removed on southern highways

A grader chips off the rumble strip from the edge of State Highway 8A between Tarras and Luggate...
A grader chips off the rumble strip from the edge of State Highway 8A between Tarras and Luggate last week. Photo: Mark Price
Rumble strips are being removed on three southern state highways after changes were suggested by local cycling groups and the Waitaki District Council.

Most of the rumble strip being removed is on State Highway 6 - between Hawea and Albert Town, around Kingston, and the northern approach to Garston, in Southland.

Strip was also removed from the edge of SH8A between Tarras and Luggate last week.

The strip was being removed at the corner next to the Maori Point intersection, and had also been removed at a corner on SH6 near  Wanaka Airport. 

The rumble strips were installed earlier this year as part of a $22.5 million NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) plan to make 30 regional highways safer for motorists.

But Upper Clutha cycling groups  complained the strips were hazardous, as they forced riders further out into the road.

Challenge Wanaka organiser Bill Roxburgh said he had had discussions with the agency about the safety of the rumble strips on parts of the event’s cycle leg.

Several areas were identified, including the Maungawera Hill, near Albert Town, and he was pleased to hear work to remove them had begun.

Graeme Hall, System Manager for the NZTA, said the changes would accommodate the cyclists’ concerns without compromising safety for drivers.

“Rumble strips are a simple safety improvement that work – they’ve been proven to prevent deaths and injuries. But we know cyclists sometimes find them difficult to ride on,” Mr Hall said.

“We had advice from cycling advisors before we installed these rumble strips, and since then we’ve also had feedback from the council and local cycling groups. As a result, we’ve decided to remove short sections of rumble strip from SH6, SH8A and SH83. Most of the rumble strips on these highways will remain, so there will still be significant safety benefits for all road users.”

Overall, less than 1% (ie 8.6 km) of the edgeline rumble strip that was installed earlier this year on southern highways is being removed. (7 km SH6, 1 km SH8A, 0.6 km SH83.)


Not to worry. It’s only public money and, after all, you can never do too much for bicycle riders wanting to pedal along narrow roads next to cars doing 100 km/h.
The occasional driver or passenger may die, but what’s that compared to the life of a cyclist?