Riccarton Rd residents appear to be split over the potential
benefits and pitfalls of widening the road.
It was reported in Taieri Times on February 12 that a
stretch of road between half a kilometre and a kilometre long
will be widened during the 2014-15 construction season.
After the article, some residents raised concerns that the
road widening would encourage more use by heavy traffic.
Resident Brian Miller told Taieri Times he felt the
Dunedin City Council had ''led us up the garden path'' in
regards to the reasons for widening the road.
If the road was widened, it would remain unsafe as more heavy
traffic would use it, he said.
''They [the council] have created the unsafe road by
diverting heavy traffic down a road which isn't made for
heavy traffic,'' he said.
Another Riccarton Rd resident said she felt the work needed
to be done sooner rather than later as it was ''an accident
waiting to happen''.
''The road needs to be widened and made safer,'' said the
woman, who wanted to remain anonymous.
People could die as a result of the unsafe road if widening
work was not carried out, she said.
Both sides had ''valid concerns'', but the road needed to be
widened and the council needed to make it clear it was not a
heavy traffic bypass, she said.
Mr Miller also raised concerns the council could use powers
available under the Public Works Act to take the land from
Such measures could ''put us out of business and put five
people out of work'', he said.
Council roading projects engineer Evan Matheson said the
Public Works Act would be used ''very much as a last
resort'', although it was ''always an option''.
It was hoped the council and landowners could ''reach
suitable outcomes by mutual agreement''.
Council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly
reiterated the road was not a heavy traffic bypass, although
some heavy traffic already used it.
''We haven't got any intention to ban them [heavy vehicles]
using it and we aren't planning on encouraging them to use
it,'' she said.
The $2.6 million upgrade was approved by the council in 2011.