Pedestrians prove barrier to business

Last updated 15:13 07/01/2014

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Express files

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Maike van der Heide looks back at stories of interest from the Marlborough Express files. This instalment is from June 16, 1928. 

In a lengthy protest article about the state of Marlborough driving habits, the president of the Marlborough Automobile Association, Mr R P Furness, calls on the "congestion" of the business area on Friday nights to be remedied.

"Pedestrians are permitted to wander on the roadway, impeding traffic", something that shocked a recent visitor from the North Island who commented this would not happen in any other town in New Zealand, states Mr Furness.

"In Market Street South, in particular, the roadway was thronged by young men, who appeared to take a keen delight in impeding traffic," Mr Furness wrote.

"They ignored the sound of a motor horn and refused to make way, though sometimes, at the last second, they would edge just clear of the car."

The result was that drivers would not attempt to drive the streets on a Friday night and shopkeepers were losing business.

Not only that, but traffic was further impeded on county roads by wandering stock as well as cyclists and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles refusing to use rear lights after dark.

Another friend of Mr Furness', reads the report, was shocked to discover two "unlighted" bicycles riding side by side between Spring Creek and Grovetown. He found a man and a woman were riding, a child on the woman's handle bars.

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- The Marlborough Express

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