Bay's most dangerous intersection

By Doug Laing


One of Hawke's Bay's longest serving judges has described a Hastings black spot as our "most dangerous intersection".

Judge Richard Watson said in Hastings District Court yesterday the intersection of Pakowhai and Ruahapia roads should have a roundabout or similar work done and it was "negligent" not to.

"We have roundabouts [at intersections] everywhere else," he said, "yet none at the most dangerous one."

It's an intersection with Whakatu industrial-area traffic in and out of Ruahapia Rd, he said. "A lot of people know it's a very difficult intersection ... something should have been done about it a long time ago."

Richard Goodley's car at the scene of the crash.

Judge Watson was speaking during a preliminary hearing for a driver facing two charges of careless driving causing injury in a collision between his truck and a car on May 4.

The truck, travelling from the south, was in a collision with the oncoming car as the truck turned into Ruahapia Rd.

Car driver Richard Goodley was badly injured. He spent three months in hospital and is hoping for a full recovery through several months of rehabilitation.

Richard Goodley was injured in a car crash at the infamous intersection.

He told Hawke's Bay Today he could remember reversing down his sister's driveway on May 4, but his next memory was being in an ambulance going to Auckland Hospital about 20 days later.

According to statistics provided by Hastings District Council transportation manager Jagwinder Pannu, 22 crashes have been reported within a 100m radius of the intersection in the last five years and seven months. Mr Pannu said the council was "acutely aware" of the safety issues and had made some changes at the Ruahapia Rd intersection pending the Whakatu Arterial Development.

The development, aimed at providing improved links between the Whakatu Industrial Park, the Port of Napier and Hawke's Bay Airport, will also address safety concerns.

The exact route was undecided, but "the safety of drivers and passengers will be a major consideration in determining the final design," Mr Pannu said.

In yesterday's hearing, the judge saw images of the crash from two cameras on the truck.

Driver Nigel Gerald Denny, 56, of Napier, has pleaded not guilty and remains on bail, to reappear on August 21.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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