Sean Hogan and Korena Paterson guide children (from left) Hannah Hogan (7) and sisters Andie (8) and Jessie (6) McGrouther along the grass verge of Portobello Rd at Broad Bay. Gerard O'Brien.
The Broad Bay School community is frustrated and angry the
Dunedin City Council may be about to do a U-turn on
road-widening work in the area.
• 'Near misses' for
Broad Bay School board of trustees chairman Sean Hogan said
there had been a promise from the council since 2005 that the
Portobello road improvement - a walkway and a protected cycle
path - would be built in the next 12 months.
He said the initial plan was for road-widening work to take
place at Macandrew Bay and Company Bay, then on the road
between Portobello and Broad Bay, followed by several other
stretches on Portobello Rd.
However, the issue of the order of the work has now been
opened up to consultation with the community under the
council's draft annual plan.
''This came as something of a shock to the communities along
the peninsula because they believed this was set in 2005.
''I struggle a little to understand why the council has done
Mr Hogan said there were ''a number of offerings'' in the
draft plan about the order that work might follow.
''The worst scenario for Broad Bay moves starting the work
that would join Broad Bay with Portobello from this year, to
expecting to complete it in 2023.
''To put that into some perspective, it would mean the oldest
children at Broad Bay School would have had time to go to
high school, graduate and become teachers before the work is
He said the community felt strongly the council should stick
to the present plan.
''Initially, there was anger because it felt something like a
breach of trust.
''Over time, it's become an opportunity to galvanise the
community into action.''
Mr Hogan believed the council should prioritise the Broad Bay
to Portobello section of road because between 2008 and 2013
it had twice as many serious accidents as any other part of
the peninsula route.
It should also be prioritised because pupils at Broad Bay
School came from Broad Bay, Portobello Rd and Portobello
itself, he said.
''So, for them to ever have any alternative, other than being
driven on a rather winding and dangerous road, we need a
Mr Hogan said it was unfortunate the council had chosen to
open the issue for consultation.
''Effectively, what it does is it encourages people to think
what's the benefit for my part of the community. And I think
''It's setting people who actually care about communities or
about safety or about important issues, against each other in
a sort of inverse beauty contest.''
Dunedin City Council Transportation Group capital delivery
manager Evan Matheson said as the road-widening project
progressed, residents had realised the benefits of the
changes and had queried what part of the road would be
''For the last two annual plans, there have been a number of
submitters asking if council was still on the right track
with its sequencing.
''There's been a whole lot of water go under the bridge,
arguably. It's certainly timely that we do a review ... it's
a logical time to pause and think what's best for the local
community and best for Dunedin as a whole.''
Submissions to the annual plan closed last week and a
decision on the order would be made early next month by
councillors, he said.