Four railway level crossings across the Bay of Plenty will undergo safety upgrades to make them safer for both road users and pedestrians.

The four crossings undergoing safety upgrades were all on State Highway 2 with one in Paengaroa, two in Pongakawa and one in Mount Maunganui.

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Upgrades ranged from barrier arms, flashing lights and bells to road signs and markings, shoulder widening and improvements to crossing surfaces, New Zealand Transport Agency's acting director of regional relationships Ross I'Anson said.

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The upgrades also included new street lighting at the State Highway 2 Pongakawa School Road level crossing where two people were killed and another three injured earlier this year.

"On average five people die, five people are seriously injured, and there are 238 reported near-miss incidents at railway level crossings across New Zealand each year," he said.

Upgrades at the sites were expected to be completed by mid next year, he said.

KiwiRail chief operating officer of capital projects and asset development David Gordon said the investment was welcomed by Kiwirail.

He said "close calls and collisions are highly distressing and impact the lives of everyone involved."

A total of $26 million was being spent across New Zealand to make crossings safer.

The works were not typically expected to result in significant delays to traffic but motorists were encouraged motorists to plan ahead.


Sites receiving safety improvements:

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SH2 Hewletts Road
SH2 Paengaroa
SH2 Ohinepanea Road, Pongakawa
SH2 Pongakawa School Road