Action wanted on ‘dangerous’ junction

The intersection of Ballantyne Road and Riverbank Road in Wanaka

An Otago man is calling for action over the ‘dangerous’ intersection of Ballantyne Road and Riverbank Road.

John Wellington, whose wife was involved in a serious accident there in 2014, said increased traffic and the road layout had made it an unsafe place for drivers.

“It’s dangerous because the usage has increased a lot because more and more people use GPS and are coming from Queenstown. They are on what they think is a main road, so they are not expecting to have to stop.

“There are a lot of locals who treat it as a give way. People also underestimate the speed of vehicles on Ballantyne Road,” he said.

John now wants Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to make the road safer, suggesting they either realign Riverbank Road or install flashing stop signs to make every driver aware of what is ahead.

He has started informing QLDC of near-misses at the junction, many of which he says go unreported, and wants other people to do the same.

“They were talking about realigning the road, but nothing has happened. We are encouraging people to report every near-miss to council. Council and NZTA are sympathetic, but there isn’t enough evidence.

“It’s an issue for the Mount Barker Residents Association and I will keep on the case as well,” he said.

Tony Pickard, transport strategy manager at QLDC, said the issue was on the council’s agenda.

“QLDC is beginning a project of evidence gathering across the Wanaka transport network, this will start very shortly. This will definitely include a detailed look at this intersection.

“Information gathered as part of this process will be used to identify which parts of the network need minor improvements and which require larger projects of work,” he said.

 Pictured: The intersection of Ballantyne Road and Riverbank Road in Wanaka

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