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Cyclist killed in crash on Hutt Road; northbound lanes closed for 4 hours

Wellington.Scoop
State Highway 2 was closed to all northbound traffic between Ngauranga and Petone tonight, after a fatal crash at Horokiwi at 6.15. The northbound lanes were closed for more than four hours. The crash involved a car and a cyclist. The cyclist died, after suffering serious injuries. He was Brent Norriss, 65, who worked at the Commerce Commission.

After the crash, the NZ Transport Agency told drivers wanting to get to the Hutt Valley that they had to take SH1 and then SH58. Otherwise, it advised them to “delay your journey.”

At 8.30, when both the northbound lanes on SH2 were still closed, it said traffic on SH58 was congested, but SH1 was “flowing.” At that time, northbound motorists were still being told to take the long way home.

Southbound traffic on SH2 was at first not affected. But then at 7.20 one southbound lane was closed at Horokiwi.

At 9.45, nothing had changed. Both northbound lanes and one of the southbound lanes were still closed. However congestion on SH58 was easing.

It wasn’t till 10.30 that all lanes were reopened.

During the closure, all 81 and 83 buses to Eastbourne were cancelled out of Wellington.

Police are “investigating the circumstances” of the fatal crash.

The DomPost reports that the cycling community is devastated by the fatal crash. It quotes CycleAware’s Patrick Morgan as saying:

State Highway 2 is a well-travelled route but there is no bike lane even though it is the main connection between the Hutt and Wellington city. People have been asking for a cycling route for a long time and there have been decades of promises… All there is to separate people on bikes from the cars is a line of paint. “Paint is not protection. There’s one particularly bad point and that is the Horokiwi intersection where you’ve got trucks turning up to the Quarry and there’s no protection for people on bikes at that point.”

11 comments:

  1. Stacy Taitapanui, 4. February 2020, 1:10

    I was a witness to the accident and I ask all others who drive past a serious incident like this one today to please keep your phones off – DO NOT TRY TO RECORD AS YOU DRIVE BY. The level of disrespect some of us humans have needs to be questioned. How would you like it if the injured person was your brother, sister, mum, dad and then you see some random person put it on the media.

     
  2. Dave B, 4. February 2020, 15:19

    The so-called “cycle lane” on the northbound side of this highway consists of a few patches of green paint and only a thin white line separating cyclists and vehicles passing at 100Km/h. There aren’t even any rumble strips that I know of.
    There is a rough, narrow but protected bike path on the southbound side, and it is safer to use this for going north as well, even though it peters out 1Km before Petone and forces northbound cyclists on to the southbound shoulder. And it has been like this for at least 35 years, made worse in 1986 when the speed limit was raised from 80Km/h to 100.

    Perhaps the new cycleway whenever it opens, could be named in memory of the cyclist who died.

     
  3. Jess Berentson-Shaw, 4. February 2020, 19:09

    I ride a bike because of the freedom & frankly fun it brings to my everyday life (commuting, collecting kids, shopping). It is unbearable when a person is killed doing the same because people in government have failed to build cities & transport system that meets everyone’s needs. [via twitter]

     
  4. Steve Biddle, 4. February 2020, 19:19

    How long do we have to wait until there is a safe way to get from Wellington to Petone? NZTA could have built this with the $$ they wasted on a smart motorway that increased driving times. [via twitter]

     
  5. Island Bay Cycleway, 4. February 2020, 21:10

    There were 508 injuries & deaths on Wgtn roads in 2018, up from 459 in 2017 & 365 in 2016 (NZTA). Every WgtnCC councillor should be ashamed of this, but also determined to use the power they have to change things. Because those 15 people *can* change things if they choose to. [via twitter]

     
  6. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 4. February 2020, 21:12

    Reflecting this evening on the tragic and needless death of Brent Norriss, the cyclist killed on Hutt Road yesterday evening. [via twitter]

     
  7. Pàra, 5. February 2020, 10:06

    That could have been me. This will keep happening until there is a safe, separated cycleway between Lower Hutt and Wellington. NZTA’s decision to delay it “due to the complexity of the consenting process” has directly led to a death. [via twitter]

     
  8. Andy Mellon, 5. February 2020, 12:17

    And this is one of the reasons I don’t cycle from Lower Hutt to Wellington more often for work. I tend to do it in January when the roads are quieter, but I’d like to do more often but I’m not the most confident road cyclist.

    It’s a real shame that the Government’s infrastructure announcement didn’t bring forward the harbour cycleway. It’s a plan that benefits all commuters by increasing cycle-safety, reducing cycle/car conflict and increasing the resilience of the railway line and SH2. Why the delays? If it was built already, this wouldn’t have happened. Where’s Chris Bishop (and other local MPs and councillors) on this issue?

     
  9. Pete, 5. February 2020, 12:23

    “due to the complexity of the consenting process…” Who creates these processes in the first place? How many more innocent lives need to be taken before something is done to build this mythical cycleway? Over 1500 injuries / fatalities since 2016. Come on Wellington City we’re the capital of our nation and lives are being needlessly lost due to our procrastination!

     
  10. John, 7. February 2020, 8:58

    Why does it always take a death or two for something to happen?

    It’s bleeding obvious that a lot of cycleways around the country aren’t built for cyclists – too narrow, no separation from traffic and no maintenance. 🙁

    Cycle strips on roads are even worse – potholes, loose metal, random roadwork signs and uneven damaged surfaces.

     
  11. Dan, 8. February 2020, 12:20

    This stretch of road is a death trap, and now it’s official. I would much rather have an expensive separated cycle lane here than the needless beautifying of Evans Bay. Any cyclist can tell you where the pain points are, if only you’d ask and listen.