A Dunedin business owner potentially affected by changes
to an intersection on the route of the new harbourside cycleway
has threatened to move his enterprise to Auckland.
But another said the possibility of new signs telling people
where to access the area instead would go a long way in
mitigating the potential effects of the changes.
Dunedin City councillors on Monday adopted a controversial
cycleway route through the harbourside area, acknowledging it
was not ideal, but saying it was the safest and best
available route to connect the South Dunedin cycle network,
mainly used by commuters, to the city.
They also made it clear they felt it was a shame changes to
the intersection of Roberts and Wharf Sts, which the new
cycleway will pass, had become confused with the cycleway
work, as the changes were planned anyway because the
intersection was dangerous.
The changes would simply be brought forward to be done as
part of the cycleway work.
Several businesses in the area expressed concern about
changing the intersection because they believed it would
affect access to their businesses.
Southern Hospitality managing director Roger Fewtrell said
the council's decision meant his company would consider its
options at its board meeting early next month.
Most of his customers came via Roberts St, turning in off the
Jetty St overbridge or Wharf St.
That option would no longer be available with the changes
adopted and people would have to find other ways to get to
If that resulted in a drop in trade, the company might give
way to pressure already coming from its shareholders to move
its Dunedin-based head office to Auckland, he said.
A planned premises upgrade and a new graduates' programme in
Dunedin were already delayed, ''in case we are forced to
''It could end up with losing between 30 and 40 jobs in the
Dunedin area,'' he said.
He felt the decision was already a foregone conclusion.
''I'm not surprised given the dickheads we've got around that
''It's just another nail in Dunedin's coffin; we've got a
council not focused on business and focused on cyclists, but
there are no cyclists.''
Acknowledging the concerns, the council agreed to ask staff
to work with businesses possibly to install new signs guiding
people to the businesses, along the lines of those seen in
industrial parks, but Mr Fewtrell had doubts as to how much
that would help.
However, Ellison's Aluminium managing director Tony Cooke
said such signs would make ''a huge difference''.
His concerns about access to his business had been alleviated
after the council's decision to move away from a complete
closure of Roberts St, but he said restricted vehicle access
could still hurt some businesses in the area.
Signs telling people to enter the area at the next street
would go a long way towards mitigating the effects of the
changes, he said.
Before making the decision about the cycleway, councillors
spent more than an hour grilling staff on whether they had
considered all the options for rerouting cyclists to avoid
the narrowest and busiest part of Wharf St.
Satisfied all options had been considered thoroughly, the
councillors present voted unanimously for the option taking
cyclists from Portsmouth Dr past the molars, west along
Kitchener St to Wharf St, and north past Roberts St, crossing
Wharf St under the Jetty St overbridge.
Because of dangers of cyclists using the path on Wharf St,
and the potential for the Kitchener St-Birch St route to
become more developed in the future, the chosen route was the
safest and most direct for cyclists, Cr Richard Thomson said.
''It makes sense. I know some businesses ... feel they will
"I hope that is not the outcome and we will do all we can to
Cr Chris Staynes said it was equally as important not to lose
businesses as it was to make the intersection at Roberts
St-Wharf St safe, and that work was something that should not
be confused with the cycle lane work.
Mayor Dave Cull said the option chosen was '' the best we can
come up with in terms of balancing the needs of everyone''.
It was not an ideal solution for cyclists either, but
probably the best they could hope for, Cr Jinty MacTavish