Road-widening plan criticised

Plans to widen Riccarton Rd have become an ''obsession'' and should be scrapped, a Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board member says.

The comments came as the board's submission to the Dunedin City Council on its 2014-15 draft annual plan, calling on it to get on with the project, was discussed at the latest meeting.

The council plans to widen and strengthen Riccarton Rd to improve its safety and is working through land purchases for that.

Board members Blackie Catlow and Maurice Prendergast questioned the merits of the work, with Mr Prendergast voting against the board's submission.

Mr Prendergast said Riccarton Rd had turned into an ''obsession'' and was an attempt to make the road an ''arterial route by stealth''.

Other roads were just as unsafe.

''It is in no more need of [fixing] than Gordon Rd North, where the logging trucks thunder down a narrow part with the cyclists and horses.''

There were also issues with safety on Wingatui Rd.

''I'm not trying to debate it. I'm on a losing end of an argument here. I am just going to register my vote against it.''

Mr Catlow, who along with other board members was in favour of the board's submission to the council, questioned both the need for the project and how long it was taking to progress.

''We [need to] either sort the thing out within a reasonable time-span or we don't support it,'' he said.

The present situation left uncertainty for Riccarton Rd residents and was ''creating a lot of worries all over the place''.

Chairman Bill Feather said the submission was about making sure council got its act together.

''The latest agreed plan, I believe, is drifting and the purpose of this submission is to bring that plan back on track.''

• The road is to be widened by up to 4m along a 4.2km stretch from Gladstone Rd to State Highway 87.

The $2.6 million upgrade was approved by the council in 2011.

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