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Roading project improves safety at Puketaha School

A Waikato District Council project to improve a section of road in Puketaha has led to a safer school community and a very impressed principal.

The Waikato District Alliance (WDA), a joint venture between Waikato District Council and Downer NZ, identified a 230m section of Sainsbury Rd for reconstruction this year, which included the area outside Puketaha School.

As well as applying new aggregate to the road surface, the WDA built a footpath for school children, built a clearly defined car parking area and a waiting bay for children crossing the road.

The team at WDA is focused on improving safety on the district’s roading network and safety improvement initiatives such as these are often delivered through major works programmes.

WDA is also trialling new road markings outside the school that is designed to create a traffic calming approach to increase drivers’ awareness of the school.

Puketaha School principal Geoff Booth said the WDA’s work has improved safety for children considerably.

“The increased number and clearly defined car parks, waiting bays, footpath and painted triangles on the road have ensured that drivers are now very aware they need to slow down as they approach the school,” said Mr Booth.

“In addition it has reduced the stress levels of parents. Having safe options for where you can park has meant that our community is less stressed and panicked for the end-of-day pick-up, meaning less risk of poor driving decisions.”

WDA’s Renewals Manager Steven Uffindell said the new traffic-calming road markings are also being used in Hastings.

“These have been proven to work effectively. The trial will stay in place for a year until the site receives its second coat of seal at which time feedback on its effectiveness will be collected and if there is a benefit markings will be reinstated on the new seal,” said Mr Uffindell.

On completion of the project last month, Mr Booth said the working relationship with WDA had been first class.

“Once the project got started there were fantastic levels of communication between all members of the working team, “said Mr Booth.

“We felt the council listened to our needs and were very considered around their approach.

“We are simply delighted with the finished product. It has exceeded our expectations and as a result our children and community are benefactors of having a safe and well-marked car park and crossing area.”