Safer. . . Waka Kotahi plans to install traffic lights at the busy Bridge St and State Highway One intersection in Mataura. PHOTO:FILE

Waka Kotahi plans to install traffic lights to make a busy Mataura intersection safer.

The intersection of Main St (State Highway 1) and Bridge St (SH93) has long been a concern for Mataura Community Board members.

The nearby railway crossing further complicates travelling through the intersection safely.

A report outlining the changes were tabled by Gore District Council roading manager Murray Hasler at Monday night’s board meeting.

In his report, Mr Hasler said KiwiRail staff had advised Waka Kotahi they had concerns about the pedestrian crossing on Bridge St.

‘‘Pedestrian crossings give priority to the pedestrian over vehicle traffic. KiwiRail is concerned that truck and trailers coming off Main St on to Bridge St could potentially be trapped on the rail crossing if a pedestrian was on the pedestrian crossing.’’

Part of the solution Waka Kotahi proposed was to replace the pedestrian crossing with a courtesy crossing including a pedestrian refuge median island.

Speaking to the report, Mr Hasler said there were many benefits to what was proposed.

There was a tight turnaround in time for the project so Mr Hasler had approached board chairwoman Nicky Coats and Mr Phillips for their comments to make sure there was some community input, he said.

Another aspect of the plan was to install traffic lights to help people cross the intersection.

‘‘So Mataura is going to be well ahead of Gore in terms of traffic lights on pedestrian crossings.’’

The changes would also mean that trucks coming to the Bridge St intersection could now turn right to travel north.

At present there is no right turn at the intersection and truck drivers needed to find a way to turn around either on the Main St or by travelling through the back streets.

‘‘It will take traffic off our local streets so the wear and tear . . .will be reduced as well.’’

During the discussion Cr Phillips said he was concerned the Bridge St pedestrian crossing would be replaced with a courtesy crossing similar to ones installed in Gore during the Streets Alive project.

‘‘Pedestrian crossings are there for a reason.

‘‘Moving it a couple metres. . .is just going to add to confusion,’’ Cr Phillips said.

Mr Hasler said the pedestrian crossing was similar to ones in Gore which were not well used during the day.

If pedestrian crossings were not well›used drivers were not used to stopping for pedestrians which made the crossing more dangerous, he said.

Having a courtesy crossing with its median in the middle would give pedestrians more protection, he said.

Cr Phillips asked Mr Hasler to take his concerns to Waka Kotahi.

After the meeting Mr Hasler said the proposed plan would be considered in the next three year Waka Kotahi funding cycle which began in July next year.