9 Aug 2012

Pedestrian barriers not the answer: Wellington council

8:40 pm on 9 August 2012

Wellington City Council says it will not erect permanent barriers to stop pedestrians being hit by buses, because they would block access to bus stops.

One person has been killed in the central city and nine others injured since the council removed a pedestrian mall and re-routed traffic last year.

Benches and bike racks will be installed at the edges of pavements in Willis Street in the next few weeks.

Transport specialist at the council, Andy Foster, says these will help to create a barrier between the footpath and road, slowing people down.

Mr Foster says permanent barriers will not work because of the many bus stops and loading bays along the major streets from Lambton Quay to Courtenay Place.

Mr Foster says pedestrians must also take more responsibility.

He says the council is considering lower speed limits along Willis and Manners Streets and closing part of Bond Street to traffic.

Bus company director hit because of 'habit'

The wife of the NZ Bus director who was hit by one of his own vehicles in Wellington says pedestrians must be better educated before road layouts are changed.

Tim Brown was released from hospital on Thursday after suffering serious injuries when he was hit near the corner of Willis and Mercer Streets last month.

Gael Webster says her husband had not taken the road changes into account before crossing.

Mrs Webster says her husband failed to look right before crossing because he was used to Willis Street being one way.

She says her husband is only alive because the bus was going slowly.