We’re making Waimairi Road way safer for everyone.
Environment Canterbury (ECan) consulted on changes to the Orbiter Route in the Ilam area(external link) in June 2022. Following the consultation process, ECan decided to keep the Orbiter on its current route along Waimairi Road. Submitters raised safety concerns and the need for a closer bus stop on Waimairi Road close to Athol terrace and outside the University of Canterbury, so ECan approached Council to investigate the current crossing and bus stops on Waimairi Road near Athol Terrace. This is to provide safer access, a bus stop closer to the Parkstone Retirement Village and encourage more use of the Orbiter bus service.
The planned bus stops and crossing will remove approximately 7 car parking spaces.
Having bus stops in pairs makes it easier for public transport users to know where to go for getting on and getting off. The proposed location is closer for University students, residents to the west of Peer Street including the Parkstone retirement village.
We need to create a transport system that can get everyone where they want to going safely.
This approach supports Road to Zero(external link), New Zealand’s road safety strategy with a vision where everyone, whether they’re walking, cycling, driving, motorcycling or taking public transport, can get to where they’re going safely.
Raised safety platforms make the crossings safer and more attractive for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. These users are more vulnerable to serious injury or death from impact as they do not have the same protection as cars. Research behind safe system thinking shows to minimise the risk of serious injuries to people travelling outside of vehicles, vehicle speeds must be below 30km/h. These lower speeds provide more time for users to react to other traffic and avoid potential accidents. This reduces both the likelihood of all types of crashes and also reduces the severity of injuries when they do occur.
Signalised crossings are expensive and beyond the scope of the current budget. A signalised crossing at this location could create further delay for all road users due to how close new signals would be to the signals at the nearby Waimairi Road/Peer Street intersection. Any signalised crossing would be installed on a raised safety platform to provide the safest outcome for all users.
Council as a Metro partner works collaboratively with Environment Canterbury to improve bus infrastructure when bus routes are being reviewed. As the Orbiter route has now been confirmed to remain on Waimairi Road Council agreed to focus on making the crossing points of the two bus stops safer for everyone.
While this project won't be looking at Ilam Road, we are continuing to work with the community to understand the safety concerns on Ilam Road and what potential safety improvements can be installed. Any improvements on Ilam Road will be dependent on when a project gets included into the Long Term Plan, which you are able to have a say on in March 2024.(external link)
The installation of a raised safety platform is designed to slow people down. Slower speeds will provide more time for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to observe each other, significantly reducing the likelihood of crashes and, in the unfortunate event a crash does occur, less severe injuries. Raised safety platforms are designed for 30km/h and, at the most congested times of the day (where travel speeds are less), they are not expected to create severe delays on Waimairi Road or at the traffic signals at Peer Street / Waimairi Road intersection.
On-site observations have shown the proposed area is a popular crossing point for people travelling between the University of Canterbury and Peer Street on foot and by bicycle. We're wanting to make this crossing point safer.
Bus stops require a certain amount of no stopping lines to allow the bus to easily negotiate into and out of the bus stop. It is not possible to allow P5 parking spaces close to bus stops instead of no stopping lines as this would create safety issues for all users and delays with the bus being able to access the stop.