More than 400km of rural roads in the Auckland region are being targeted as part of a major focus on road safety.
In the coming year $5 million, including funding from the new Regional Fuel Tax, will be spent on improved road markings and better signage. The work is part of Auckland Transport's commitment to creating a road network free of death and serious injury.
In the past three years, deaths and serious injuries on Auckland roads have increased by more than 70 per cent, and just last year 20 people were killed and 101 people were seriously injured on rural roads in the region.
"That represents an appalling and unacceptable human cost. It also imposes social and economic costs," says Mayor Phil Goff.
"Improvements to our rural road network in Rodney and Franklin will include making high-risk intersections safer and providing signage and road markings to help people make better decisions when they are driving, such as slowing down for a bend in the road."
In 2017, four roads, Hunua Road, Paparimu Road, Ararimu Road and Kariotahi Road, were improved as part of the project, known as the Signage and Delineation Plan. An evaluation showed a 40 per cent reduction in injury crashes along these corridors, with zero deaths or serious injuries reported since the work was completed.
"This work will help save lives and is funded in part by the Regional Fuel Tax. The fuel tax will also be used to help fund road sealing over the next five years, which will further improve safety on our rural roads," says Mayor Goff.
Auckland Council is working closely with the Government to prioritise road safety initiatives. The council will be investing heavily in road-safety measures with the Regional Fuel Tax over the next 10 years, directly and indirectly contributing more than half a billion dollars into keeping people safe on Auckland's roads.
Auckland Transport's Chief Executive, Shane Ellison, says the work is essential: "Our rural road network must be safer. Our vision at Auckland Transport is for no one to be killed or seriously injured on the road.
"Our teams are working extremely hard on plans like this and we are working closely with our partners and local boards to ensure that we are creating a safe transport system."
Several roads, including Peak Road, Wishart Road and Old North Road near Helensville, have recently received the safety upgrades as part of the programme.