Tekapo Canal Rd changes

New traffic arrangements due to be implemented on Tekapo Canal Rd will mean anglers will retain road access to the Tekapo canal, but will no longer be able to use the road as a short cut from Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo.

The road is owned by power company Genesis Energy, which after an independent traffic review and consultation with key stakeholders, yesterday proposed a new traffic arrangement for Tekapo Canal Rd.

The new arrangement would allow for continued access for anglers and tourists to the lower and upper sections of the canal, the company said.

Recreational users of the canal would also continue to have access to sections of the canal by road and to the full canal by foot and bicycle, but gates would prevent vehicles from travelling from Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo as an alternative to State Highway 8.

Genesis chief operations officer Mike Fuge said safety was the main reason for the changes, as the road was not built for high-speed traffic.

''The safety of staff, contractors and members of the public is and must always be the company's No 1 priority.

"There have been many near-miss safety incidents on the Tekapo Canal Rd reported over the last few years as a result of the combination of high-speed vehicles and recreational users such as anglers and cyclists in the same location.

''We are not prepared to wait for an incident or tragedy to occur before acting.''

The new traffic arrangements are expected to be implemented in March, once remedial work on the Tekapo canal finishes.


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