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U-turn for alley fence

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014
Fence PKC

PERSISTENCE PAYS: Months spent wrangling with Auckland Transport over a shared fence have finally paid off for, from left: Porchester Rd resident David White, his landlord and mum Marion White and local board member Brent Catchpole.

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Auckland Transport has done a U-turn after months of refusing to fix a fence on what residents say is a dangerous alleyway.

Roading authorities originally built the fence between a home at 105 Porchester Rd and the public alleyway but left a two-metre gap at the end.

Kids as young as 5 now speed down the alleyway on bikes and skateboards and swerve around the barriers through the gap into the neighbouring driveway.

Resident David White says he contacted Auckland Council "years ago" after a child appeared in his driveway as his car was exiting the property.

"That was the nearest miss.

"He clipped the front of my bumper and then swerved out on to the road.

"Luckily there were no cars coming."

But plenty of kids fly out of the alleyway and on to the road without looking, he says.

"The next one might not be so lucky . . . I'm doing this because I want to keep these children safe."

Auckland Transport covered the gap with orange plastic mesh after a site visit but Mr White says that is normally ripped down within days. He says it has been replaced at least 10 times.

Papakura Local Board member Brent Catchpole took up the fight in October last year but says he was repeatedly fobbed off.

"Auckland Transport basically said ‘well, it's not our problem', and I said ‘well, actually it is'. They're bucking their responsibility."

Mr White was quoted a section of the Fencing Act which says houses adjoining roading reserves - which the alleyway technically is - must bear the cost of fencing.

But when the Papakura Courier contacted Auckland Transport the organisation's tune had changed.

It now agrees "there may be a safety issue with cyclists or pedestrians cutting across Mr White's driveway," spokesman Mark Hannan says.

"That's why we put up temporary netting.

"We are now looking at a permanent change to the layout which may include a bollard.

"We thank Mr White and Brent Catchpole from the Papakura Local Board for bringing this to our attention."

Mr White says he is pleased with the decision to make safety changes but he would still like to see the fence completed.

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- Papakura Courier

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