Wellington road labelled 'too dangerous' to drive

A stretch of road in Wellington's Upper Hutt has been labelled too dangerous to drive on following almost 50 fatal crashes since it opened.

There are now urgent calls to redesign the 20 kilometre section on State Highway 2 to avoid more deaths in the future.

The road leading in and out of Upper Hutt might look ordinary but it's deadly.

Forty eight people have been killed in car crashes along the stretch of State Highway 2, also known as River Rd, since it opened 34 years ago.

Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy says the poorly designed road coupled with an increase in traffic is behind the fatal crashes.

"We do lots of things in New Zealand and sadly I have to say we do it cheaply and nastily and the quickest way possible - that's what this road was built for," he told Newshub.

"It was never built to be a state highway; it was to be an arterial route."

Fresh concerns about the road came after a cyclist was seriously injured after being hit by a van on Monday. It also follows a two vehicle accident on Christmas Eve which saw a motorcyclist hospitalised.

Upper Hutt City Councillor Angela McLeod avoids using the road.

She says the way lanes merge is dangerous and the 100km/h speed limit is too high - with traffic lights and intersections to contend with.

"It's terrible I don't know what else to say," she told Newshub.

"If we're going to carry on using it with the capacity of traffic using it then we need to have change."

McLeod wants that change to be a team effort.

"Hutt City Council, local government yes and NZTA - we need to be working and pushing NZTA."

NZTA said in a statement that improvements to State Highway Two will begin after seeking community feedback over the next six months.

They could include a median barrier, localised speed reductions, raised safety platforms and other speed management devices such as signage.

But with no concrete date for when the work might be completed, drivers will have to remain extra cautious.