More than 1000 seek opening of ocean drive

Dunedin woman Joan Mann calls for John Wilson Ocean Dr to be opened for traffic, at a Dunedin...
Dunedin woman Joan Mann calls for John Wilson Ocean Dr to be opened for traffic, at a Dunedin City Council public forum yesterday. Photo by Chris Morris.
A petition signed by more than 1000 people backed fresh calls for John Wilson Ocean Dr to be reopened to vehicles.

The call came from Dunedin woman Joan Mann at a Dunedin City Council public forum yesterday, and was supported by South Coast Board Riders Association member Dave Crooks.

Mrs Mann said she wanted bollards removed to allow her and her husband, Ian Mann (82), who could not walk long distances, to enjoy again the coastal views from their car.

She claimed to represent the city's "old and infirm" who were unable to walk along the road, and backed her claims with a petition signed by 1357 people, all wanting the drive reopened to vehicles.

Most of the signatures had been collected by Mr Crooks, who also spoke at yesterday's forum in favour of restored vehicle access.

Both speakers said they would be prepared to accept some form of shared use, either by marking an area for walkers or by keeping the road vehicle-free on designated days.

Their presentations came after councillors voted in June to reconsider their options for the use of John Wilson Ocean Dr, after years of debate stretching back to its closure - to allow construction of the Tahuna outfall pipe - in 2006.

The latest rethink was prompted by Cr Bill Acklin with arguments in favour of shared use of the road.

Yesterday, he told the Otago Daily Times councillors would consider options and costs for the road's future on October 19, and a report to the council's community development committee would follow.

 

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