The road network in our electorate is in constant need of attention, and I am actively pursuing improvements to the safety and quality. A key issue for Morrinsville is the SH26/Avenue Road intersection; I have been pushing for changes to that intersection since late last year. I have been active in writing letters, hosting a public meeting, discussing the issue with the local newspapers as well as frequent correspondence and phone calls through to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
I received a letter in April confirming that there would be consideration around moving the 50km/h speed zone further west out of town and away from Avenue Road intersection, and that a decision would be made on the installation of a temporary roundabout by the end of June. June came and went, as did July; leaving me feeling disappointed for my constituents, because this is proof that the Government and NZTA are failing to deliver on their promises.
Since early August I have been engaging in direct correspondence with the Minister of Transport, and I wrote an open letter to both Minister Twyford and Associate Minister Genter asking for prompt action.
Hon Twyford has now informed me that NZTA is currently finalising the design for a temporary roundabout at the SH 26/Avenue Road intersection, and that – provided the design does not exceed the current funding allocation – the temporary roundabout will be built in the 2019/20 construction period.
Importantly, Hon Twyford has stated that an announcement will be made by the end of September.
I am excited for the community, in that my ongoing requests for this temporary roundabout appear to be delivering the desired result, though I note it is subject to a funding limit. I consider this a positive step towards achieving road safety for all who travel on this stretch of road. There is still work to be done to progress shifting of the 50km/h speed zone further west out of town, but residents can be assured that I will continue working hard to deliver this for the community.