Highcliff Rd improvements too costly, council says

Highcliff Rd is recognised as being narrow, winding and difficult for road users, the Dunedin City Council says, but there are no plans for what would be costly improvements.

The comments come after emergency-service workers and neighbours raised concerns about a corner of the road where a cyclist fell 6m down a bank on Tuesday.

The cyclist, Neil Rout, remains in Dunedin Hospital with several broken bones. After his crash, a firefighter at the scene and some neighbours said they had concerns about safety on the stretch of road where the accident occurred.

City council policy engineer Pieter Besuijen said yesterday widening and straightening the road would be a difficult and expensive task because of the topography.

"We are aware there are some issues [with the road], and we look at safety improvements annually."

Improvements would generally be made when major work was scheduled for the road surface.

If many accidents were reported at one spot, the council would then look into it as well, but often accidents, especially with cyclists, were not reported, he said.

Nick Baker, who was cycling with Mr Rout on Tuesday, said he did not think the road needed altering.

"As a cyclist, I wouldn't say the road has to be fixed up. We just need to continue being careful."

The road was one cyclists chose because it provided a good workout, had wonderful views and there was little traffic, he said.

Mr Rout's partner, Jill Alexander, was also riding with the group when Mr Rout went off the road. The couple often rode that road and knew where to be careful.

She said Mr Rout was a cautious cyclist, who did not usually take risks like going too fast downhill.

He could not recall Tuesday's ride at all since his fall, but it seemed odd that he would go off the road, and they believed it was more likely [he had] taken some sort of evasive action, although it would now never be known what happened, she said.

Mr Rout would be in hospital for some time, but was otherwise recovering well. 

 

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