Board wants track barrier to remain

Gerard Collings
Gerard Collings
Vehicle access to a track leading from Warrington to Blueskin Bay should continue to be controlled, the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board has decided.

The board's recommendation, which includes a suggestion an appropriate alternative to the boulders blocking access should be found, will go to the Dunedin City Council for consideration.

Access to the short track, which starts at the corner of Bank and Bay Rds, was blocked about 2008, an action that has been a source of debate among the Warrington community since then.

 

Last night, the board considered feedback from the community, which was split evenly between those wanting vehicle access and those who did not, mainly due to safety concerns.

Board chairman Gerard Collings said he could not see that having another vehicle access to Blueskin Bay would be beneficial, given the environmental and safety concerns raised by the community.

''In my view, restoring vehicle access is in the long term not in the best interests of the wider community.''

There was the potential for conflict between vehicles and pedestrians on the narrow carriageway, as well as potential parking problems for boat trailers, he said.

Board member Geraldine Tait said, given there were other access points for vehicles, it was nice to have an area where they could not gain access.

Another member, Alasdair Morrison, said he had been closely involved with the issue for seven or eight years and the solution had ''basically worked''.

People who lived in the immediate area of the track believed there was a safety danger there.

However, fellow board member Richard Russell said the legal argument for continued vehicle access was hard to dispute.

He and fellow board member Tracey Scurr did not support the recommendation.

Other board members Mark Brown and Cr Andrew Noone did not attend last night's meeting.

Community member Mike Fitzgerald, one of three members of the public who attended the meeting, said afterwards he was very pleased at the board's decision as he believed vehicle use of the track would endanger pedestrians.

Warrington Ratepayers' and Householders' Association chairman Sir Julian Smith, who did not attend the meeting, said when contacted he hoped the issue would now go to the full council, as he believed there were no hard facts to back the board's decision.

He believed the full council would ''come to a sensible decision'' and allow the historical right of use to remain.

 

rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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