Dusty-road battle far from being settled

Roslyn Rd residents continue campaign

HANNAH MCLEOD
Last updated 05:00 14/06/2014

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Sick of living shrouded in dust, Roslyn Rd residents continue to campaign to have their road sealed.

Every year, for the past seven years, the residents have approached the Southland District Council for help.

The 2.5-kilometre road has been home to Owen McKenzie, 85, since he was a baby.

He and wife Frances were often spotted filling in potholes until the council increased maintenance on the road. But McKenzie said while potholes were no longer a problem, residents were sick of the dust.

Resident Patsy Gordon said the council had done its best to improve the road's condition, but the residents just wanted it sealed.

They had battled to get the council to listen to their concerns about health, safety, and quality of life for seven years, she said.

The road's population was growing. Houses on the road had increased from five in 2007 to 27 this year, she said.

Children were in danger when they got on or off the school bus because dust from even one vehicle hid oncoming vehicles, she said. "We don't want there to be a death before anything is done about it."

Lindsay Smith said there were concerns about effects of dust on drinking water.

"Most houses collect their water off their roof, so they're just about chewing on the road," he said.

Southland District Council group manager services and assets Ian Marshall said the benefit of sealing Roslyn Rd did not outweigh the costs.

The council would not seal roads which did not qualify for funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency to subsidise the work.

There were no plans to change council policies to enable it to carry out roading work without funding subsidies. The council would continue to work with the group to look at "how we can make it a better gravel road".

Roslyn Rd residents made submissions to the council's draft annual plan and councillors could still decide to seal the road, however staff recommended against it. The draft plan is expected to be adopted at a meeting on June 25.

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- The Southland Times

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