Traffic signals to make Invercargill intersection safer given the green light

A new set of traffic signals to make an Invercargill intersection safer has been given the tick of approval from Invercargill City Councillors.

At their Infrastructure Committee meeting on March 5, councillors agreed to proceed with safety improvements at the intersection of Invercargill’s Yarrow and Lindisfarne streets – a project partially funded through Waka Kotahi’s Road to Zero initiative.

Invercargill City Council Group Manager Infrastructure Erin Moogan said the proposal was originally approved in principle in late 2023. Committee members have now approved the final design of the new road layout, which will take concerns of nearby retailers into consideration.

The intersection of Yarrow and Lindisfarne streets had been identified as a high-risk area, with 18 crashes recorded there in the past five years. Accommodating cyclists and pedestrians in a safe manner is a feature of the design, she said.

“The revamp of the Yarrow and Lindisfarne streets intersection will not only include installing traffic signals here for the first time, but will also improve the pedestrian crossing facilities and the cycling infrastructure as well – so no matter their mode of transportation, it’s set to be a lot safer and easier for road users to navigate,” Moogan said.

Consultation on the proposed changes took place in December 2023. The design agreed upon by members of the Infrastructure Committee yesterday would relocate and retain an additional car parking, but would remove a proposed raised platform.

Crash history data showed that the majority of incidents happened when road users failed to stop as they turned from Lindisfarne St onto Yarrow St. Of the 18 crashes that were reported between 2018 and 2023, two of them were serious, two were minor, and 14 were non-injury crashes. Data also indicated that traffic signals, as opposed to other measures such as installing a roundabout, provided better safety outcomes, she said.

“The installation of traffic signals will mean reduced speeds and conflicts between vehicles, and ensure safe negotiation of the intersection.  This will mitigate and minimise the risk and severity of incidents. Meanwhile, incorporating the cycleway and pedestrian crossing into the signalised system will also increase the safety of other road users, reducing potential crashes and their impact as well,” Moogan said.

Construction on the new road layout would begin this month, and was expected to be completed by July, she said.