Bypass called for amid safety concerns

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
The Mosgiel community is calling for the Dunedin City Council to consider introducing a bypass, as growing truck numbers put pressure on the safety of the town’s roading network.

In a submission to the council’s draft annual plan, the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board said a heavy transport bypass or a second entrance from State Highway 1 into the town should be considered a top priority.

"The continued growth of the Taieri, both residential growth and industrial growth, means the need is ever-increasing.

"Presently, there are 540 heavy truck movements through the main street of Mosgiel every day."

The submission asked for a feasibility study for the bypass be "completed without delay".

Community board chairman Andrew Simms told the Otago Daily Times the proposal needed to be pursued urgently.

"There has been significant discussion about this for a long period of time.

"The city council and regional council’s future development strategy has acknowledged this bypass needs to be a priority."

The need for the bypass had become increasingly relevant, as Port Otago was pushing ahead with its inland port proposal.

The inland port and freight hub would offer more holding space for the port and allow it to decarbonise the supply chain, by switching from just trucks to some rail-based freight services, Port Otago has said.

Mr Simms said the risk the trucks posed to Mosgiel pedestrians had to be acknowledged.

"It’s a matter of how much the community can tolerate it.

"Mosgiel is characterised by older people and school children, so we’ve got a vulnerable population trying to use Gordon Rd while the trucks are using the road.

"People are competing with the trucks to walk to school, or go to the shops, so it’s increasingly a safety issue.

"We’ve got trucks coming through every minute during the morning on our main road."

The large number of trucks going through the main street had led to a "reduction of amenity", he said.

"The population of Mosgiel has nearly doubled in 20 years.

"The pressure is just going to continue to carry on."

Southern Edge, which is promoting the logistics park project in Dukes Rd North, submitted the council should set aside about $250,000 in its budget for the feasibility study.

The community board is also asking the council to increase flood protection for the Taieri, prioritise cycleways and walkways in the area, fund upgrades to the Memorial Park playground and consider extending the Otago Central Rail Trail through to the Taieri and Dunedin.

Hearings on the council’s draft annual plan begin today.