Butel Rd traffic solutions canvassed

A temporary traffic-management solution could be on the way for Butel Rd, near Arrowtown, while debate continues about its potential closure.

Situated between Millbrook Resort and the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd, Butel Rd has been used recently as a 1200m shortcut by residents of Orchard Hill Dr and for people working at Millbrook.

The issue came before the Queenstown Lakes District Council infrastructure services committee again yesterday after surfacing at last month's meeting.

A report from network operations engineer Michael Wardill said consultation with Butel Rd residents, Millbrook residents and the Millbrook Country Club Ltd had since been undertaken, asking which of two options was preferred.

The options were to keep the road open, with council or another party maintaining the unformed section, or to introduce restrictions on vehicle weight or speed.

Butel Rd residents wanted to replace the gate at the end of the unformed section of road, which was removed by an unknown party about a year ago.

Although they were concerned over the number of vehicles using the road, Millbrook residents generally wished to see it remain open.

Several parties hold legal access to the road - it is one landowner's sole access to their property - and would be expected to oppose any moves to close it.

Butel Rd resident Barry Bain spoke in the meeting's public forum and pushed for the unformed section of the road to be closed to traffic, as per a council resolution passed in the early 1990s.

He said his main concerns over the use of it were around dust, degradation of the road and, most importantly, safety.

"I'm going to capsize a campervan one of these days," he said of the narrow road.

Given the opposition to stopping the road, the council is proposing a set of measures aimed at reducing the effects of traffic and minimising the burden of maintenance.

These might include vehicle weight restrictions, the maintenance of a section of the road by Millbrook, the installation of bollards to slow down vehicles and to deter heavy vehicles.

Another option put forward was for Millbrook to investigate funding for the installation of a gate to provide automatic entry through a swipe card system and manual opening for others.

Acting general manager infrastructure services Ken Gousmett indicated such a system could cost $6000 and a further $1500 for installation.

While calling for the closure of the road, Cr Trevor Tattersfield suggested the gate simply be put back in the meantime, which would be legal as long as it was not locked.

Committee chairman Lyal Cocks backed his suggestion, also pushing for the bollards to be put in while the council continued assessing the potential costs of all of the options.



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