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Red arrow tweaks at Walnut Ave

Red arrow tweaks at Walnut Ave

Motorists have been seeing red at the recently upgraded Walnut Avenue intersections, but that’s about to change.

Ashburton District Council road manager Mark Chamberlain said motorists have been frustrated with the right turn arrow staying red, even when there's no oncoming traffic.

There is an ability to switch the red arrow off at the East Street/Walnut Ave intersection, Chamberlain told councillors last week.

The traffic signals were switched on in November 2022 and infrastructure and open spaces group manager, Neil McCann, said the right-turning traffic arrows increase safety.

Council made a request to reduce the time the red light arrow displayed, he said.

“The change we are making is to have the red right turn arrows to operate as they do now, but turn off after a few seconds."

This allowed drivers to make a judgement to safely turn right when there is no straight-through traffic until the light changed, he said.

“The single lane approaches and lower traffic volumes means there should be few issues.

“If issues do arise then we can reverse the change.”

Waka Kotahi declined the council’s request to consider making a similar alteration to the SH1/Walnut Ave intersection.

“They are not considering changing the signals because of the two through lanes on the approaches,” McCann said.

The council has formally requested the change to be made at the East St/Walnut Ave intersection. The contractor will make the changes soon, McCann said.

The change is called a “personality change”, Chamberlain said.

“That’s because a person has to physically go there to change something in the control box.”

By Jonathan Leask