Imprisonment or $2000 fine: Cone-happy culprits get reminder about thefts

Road cones and traffic signs are disappearing at an alarming rate at Christchurch’s seventh most dangerous intersection - and the finger has been pointed at Canterbury University students.

Kim Fowler. Photo: Supplied
Kim Fowler. Photo: Supplied
Since construction began two months ago to improve the Middleton, Ilam and Riccarton Rd intersection, more than 100 road cones, 35 traffic signs and 14 bases have either been removed or stolen.

Fulton Hogan issued a reminder to Canterbury University, which was relayed to the University of Canterbury Students’ Association, that traffic management measures are there for the safety of others.

The contractor has now installed cameras on site in an effort to catch the culprits.

“Fulton Hogan has asked us to remind people that traffic management is in place to protect everyone’s safety,” the university told UCSA members.

UCSA president Kim Fowler sympathised with Fulton Hogan but encouraged the contractor to contact the association directly to resolve the issue, not just the university.

“I can absolutely see how this is a concerning issue,” she said.

Students and residents have been reminded about the repercussions of removing traffic management...
Students and residents have been reminded about the repercussions of removing traffic management equipment at an Ilam intersection after the theft of dozens of road cones, signs and bases. Photo: Geoff Sloan
“I’d encourage Fulton Hogan to get in contact with the UCSA directly and am more than happy to work on initiatives to address the issue.”

Fulton Hogan’s warning was also extended to the wider public this week, with the contractor updating the project to nearby households and businesses.

It also made it clear what could happen to them if they decided to take a construction site souvenir home with them, including up to three months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $2000.

“There have been a number of incidents involving our site traffic management being moved and/or stolen. Doing this can put yourself and others at serious risk of harm and is a criminal offence under the Summary of Offences Act,” the update read.

“We ask the community to please leave the traffic management as is, and [we] have installed cameras on-site for monitoring.”

The project aims to improve safety at the dangerous intersection for all road users. Changes include accommodating bus lanes and left-turn only traffic.

It is also in tandem with construction of the Nor’West Arc cycleway, which connects Cashmere to Papanui, via Spreydon, Riccarton and Bryndwr.

The work is expected to be completed in October.

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