Turning strip gets the chop

The recent installation of orange posts on Victoria Road has stopped SH1B drivers from using the roadside as a turning lane.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has confirmed the turning lane on Victoria Road at the intersection of Church Road, 8km north of Cambridge, is no more.

The organisation said vehicles using the SH1B strip as a left-hand turning lane had created blind spots for vehicles turning right out of Church Road onto Victoria Road, as those drivers were unable to see the   non-turning traffic.

It had resulted in several crashes, NZTA Acting Waikato Systems Manager Rob Campbell said.

As a result, the organisation installed orange markers along the side of the road to improve safety.

“The orange plastic posts were added in December 2019 to reinforce to drivers that the wide shoulder is not a turning lane and will remain in place while the Transport Agency looks at further options for safety improvements at this intersection,” he said.

The roadside strip originally had a left-turn arrow painted on the concrete surface, and it had since been removed. But a faint outline of the arrow remained, and many SH1B vehicles continued to use the roadside when turning, prompting the December safety improvement.

The intersection sees hundreds of cars pass through it each day. Motorists use the SH1B route as an alternative to driving through Hamilton on the way to Auckland. The roads will transfer from NZTA to council control when the Waikato Expressway is completed in 2021.

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