Road users travelling between Puhoi and Warkworth will need to drive very safely over the next four years.
The number of crashes on the 100kph stretch of road has risen, but the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has no money set aside in its budgets to make any improvements.
There were 49 vehicle accidents on the road last year, including four fatalities. This was up 32 per cent on 2015 (37 crashes) and up 54 per cent on 2014.
NZTA system design manager Brett Gliddon says the new Puhoi to Warkworth motorway, which will open in 2021, will provide a much safer alternative.
Mr Gliddon says the crash statistics are on par with national figures, but the reasons for the accidents vary.
Overtaking manoeuvres are responsible for 17 per cent of accidents on that part of SH1, compared to a national average of 10 per cent.
Warkworth Police Sergeant Bede Haughey believes an increased number of truck and trailer units on the road are making drivers more impatient, leading to riskier passing manoeuvres.
“People get frustrated behind slow vehicles making them utilise every inch of a passing lane possible,” Sgt Haughey says. “Warkworth Police are attending more crashes than ever before, which is straining resources.
“This winter we attended a significant number of crashes on this stretch of road when we could have been doing other police work.”
As at August 1 this year, there had been 28 accidents between Puhoi and Warkworth, including one fatal crash.
NZTA says the only work it will be doing on that stretch of highway over the next four years will be in relation to access routes for the construction of the new motorway. No other money has been budgeted for the existing SH1.