Why was this procession of cars doing a cross country scenic tour across Turangi’s botanical park along the western side of SH1?. A new alternative innovative tourist option for SH1 south of the Tongariro River Bridge?
Explanation: Yesterday a loud crash signalled another shunt – car crash outside TRM on the corner of SH1 and Piri Road – which is the main entrance to TRM from the corner. This happens at least once every year.
TRM have been warning their guests of the dangers of this corner for about 14 years now but nothing has changed. The images are self explanatory.
Anyone travelling north from Turangi “CBD” who has to turn right into Piri (previously known as Link Road) end up a dangerous situation relying on the traffic behind them to stop and bank up if they have to wait as there is no turning lane.
It is difficult to believe the NZTA (New Zealand Transport Authority are responsible for State Highways – not the Toe-paw Council) allow a right turn without any provision or space for a passing lane or swing-in strip on a 80 km zone on their main SH1. (It is just as ridiculous to have three 25km corners on the way to Taupo but that is another story waiting to be told)
Considering the traffic density on SH1 it is a national disgrace and a constant danger to motorists.
Local people “in the know” always drive across the major intersection from the town centre – outside the iSite and Z petrol station – to link with Taupahi Road in the interests of survival… SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the Manager at TRM and deals with all guest complaints) must get an “ear full” every week from tourists over the last 15 years. They are amazed nothing to improve the access has been done.
That is the wonderful advantage of blogs and facebooks etc. The Councils and Government absolutely hate being publicly exposed. Good! Website have the instant power to shame them into action.
So back to the crash story. Three guests were returning from the town centre yesterday north along SH1 and did everything correctly according to the road code. They signalled well before the corner and slowed down to make a right turn, but had to wait until a gap was available in the steady stream of holiday traffic heading south. A double cab ute failed to notice they had stopped and rammed them in the rear spinning them around – almost a 360 – and they ended up blocking SH1 in a location where there are no alternative routes.
(Well there is one from Rangipo through HM Prison but they might not like tourists watching them doing their time playing basketball?)
So a huge traffic jam soon extended back north across the bridge and south through the main intersection out of Turangi. After two fire engines and two police cars and an ambulance arrived there was only one slow lane available covered in glass and debris. So an inspired innovative alternative option was needed to clear the traffic.
An anonymous local quickly redirected the south bound flow into the reserve on the western side of SH 1 between the Tongariro River road bridge and Turangi by diverting all the traffic along the scenic walkway through the park – hence the image on facebook. Brilliant innovative thinking! The traffic cops are probably still looking for him…
The guests involved were transported to Taupo Hospital where they had complete body scans in case of internal injury and were discharged later and returned to TRM in style in the motel taxi. They are very grateful and thank the emergency services for the prompt attention.