It shouldn't be a dangerous stretch of road. It's flat, with good visibility.

But it's deadly.

Five people have died in 75 crashes on the 3km south of Napier's Marine Parade, lined with Norfolk pines, since 2010. Three of the deaths and 46 of the crashes happened in the past four years.

For nearby residents, it happens all too often. Charlotte Gibson has lived near the stretch of road for a year but is already fed up with crashes.


"The annoying thing about people crashing along here is that the traffic piles up," she said.

"Us residents can't get into our driveway because the traffic's built up. It's happened quite a few times since I've lived here - I've lived here for a year."

It was once State Highway 2, the main thoroughfare between Napier and Hastings, but the Hawke's Bay Expressway is now State Highway 2 and the old route is now Highway 51.

NZ Transport Agency regional transport systems manager Oliver Postings said roadside wire-rope barriers were "doing their job" in preventing collisions with the Norfolk Pines.

"We are looking at this whole corridor right the way through to Clive," he said.

"We're looking at its form and function. With the expressway a recent investment, we want most traffic to move along that route."

He said it was part of a "vision" being formulated with communities for state highways.

"We are obviously looking at any design changes we can make. Are there any speed limit changes we can make? Is there any education we can work on as a region to change the way people drive here?"


After community consultation it was decided the passing lane near the entrance to Hohepa Homes in Clive would be removed.

"They felt that passing lane was encouraging unsafe behaviour. So we will convert the passing lane into a cycleway, which will provide safe off-road access from Clive to Napier for anyone commuting or recreational cyclists.

"We will also provide a right-turn bay into Hohepa because they have had some concerns about how that entrance is utilised for some time.

"We will also provide a right-turn bay to the Waitangi Regional Park, which is increasing in use."

Posting said the next discussion with the community would be about the speed limit, which was a badly needed change, according to local resident Adrian Manisty.

"There is quite a bit of speed there. The new wires are hopeless. If there is an accident then there is nowhere for people to go.

"So I think just a speed restriction enforced properly would be the story," he said.

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