Roadblock could thwart traffic cheats

CALL FOR ACTION: Beatson Rd resident Ron Guyton: ‘‘Something has to be done’’.
CALL FOR ACTION: Beatson Rd resident Ron Guyton: ‘‘Something has to be done’’.

Drivers sneaking through Beatson Rd to cheat traffic on Waimea Rd could soon run into a roadblock.

The Nelson council's works and infrastructure committee debated whether to temporarily close the road to prevent vehicles using it as a thoroughfare.

However, procedural rules resulted in a lot of talk but no action.

A report to the committee suggested councillors temporarily close the road from the Whakatu Drive roundabout to see how it was being used and if the closure would help traffic flows on Waimea Rd where cars from Beatson cut in.

Council staff said they had received four complaints from residents over the same months about how the road was used.

Mayor Rachel Reese questioned the merits of spending $16,500 just to see if there was a problem and suggested council staff talk to residents instead to get a better understanding.

Councillor Tim Skinner said the issue had already been raised and discussed by the committee and the point of the exercise was to limit the impact of the traffic on Waimea Rd. The mayor tried to amend the committee's recommendations to not go ahead with the closure, but was voted down by one.

However, the committee could not again vote on the original proposal because of procedural rules.

It meant the report on the issue must come back before the committee in early September when it next meets for a decision to be made.

Residents on Beatson Rd the Nelson Mail spoke to said the traffic was "bumper to bumper" in the morning between 7.45 and 8.30.

Ron Guyton, who has lived on the road since 1978, said it was worse in the term time with school runs, and something needed to be done as the traffic became backed up on Beatson and Waimea Rds. He said the council had talked some time ago about making the road one way.

He was "all for it" but nothing eventuated.

Guyton also said there were some issues with "hoons" going along the road making a lot of noise and skidding their wheels across the grit laid in winter.

Ben Taylor, who recently moved into the road, said he did not think it was too bad as during the day there was barely any traffic, but it was busy in the morning.

He said there was not much drivers could do as there were few alternative routes to use.

Long-time resident Graham Hogarth said something needed to be done to relieve the morning backlog of traffic and reduce the number of hoons who were speeding down the road at other times and flying over the judder bars.

The Nelson Mail