22 Jan 2019

Safety options for 'race track' road in Auckland

7:27 pm on 22 January 2019

New speed signs could be installed on a suburban Auckland road where a speeding driver collided with a bus earlier this month.

Emergency services at the scene of the crash on Gowing Drive in Auckland on 12 January 2019.

Emergency services at the scene of the collision on Gowing Drive. Photo: Anneke Smith / RNZ

The driver of the car was killed and 10 people were injured in the crash on Gowing Drive in Meadowbank.

The Ōrākei Local Board had previously raised concerns about the road's safety and asked Auckland Transport to investigate.

Deputy chair Carmel Claridge met with Auckland Transport this morning.

She said the board will probably install an electronic sign to show drivers how fast they're travelling and the board will meet with Auckland Transport again next month.

"On some occasions, it's as if you're driving on a bit of a race track. At the moment it's not really an environment that is a neighbourhood-friendly environment. It's good to see that Auckland Transport have acknowledged that and will be looking at some improvements along those lines."

After the crash on 12 January, which St John sent four ambulances to, police senior sergeant Matt Rogers said: "It's clear that if the car had not been speeding and had not crossed the centre line then [the driver] would still be alive."

At the time of the crash, a local man who did not want to be named, said the narrow street - combined with heavy bus traffic - meant it was an accident waiting to happen.

Another man said buses had been more frequent since Auckland Transport changed its bus timetables, and motorists had to drive with more care.

Neither man thought the bus route should be eliminated but said safer measures, like speed bumps, could be introduced.

The Gowing Drive and Cruickshank Crescent intersection is closed after a fatal car crash.

Gowing Drive in Meadowbank has been described as "a bit of a race track" and an accident waiting to happen. Photo: Google

Asked to investigate

Auckland Transport had been asked by the board to investigate the safety of Go wing Drive five months before the accident.

During its August meeting, the board passed a resolution focussed on the road and a nearby intersection.

The resolution read, "That Auckland Transport be requested to provide options on how to manage speed and address visibility issues to improve safety along Gowing Drive, Meadowbank at the Parsons Road and Archdall Street intersections."

In February, Auckland Transport will be consulting on a new speed management bylaw, which will enable it to reduce speeds on specific roads, town centres and the city centre.

In an earlier statement, Auckland Transport said once the bylaw is approved, it will begin reducing speeds, with first priority being given to Auckland's highest risk areas and town centres.

It also said it is working closely with local boards as it progresses its speed management plans.