Cr critical of Dunedin mayor

WILMA MCCORKINDALE IN DUNEDIN
Last updated 10:49 12/12/2012

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The John Wilson Dr saga continues, with Dunedin City Councillor Bill Acklin slamming Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull's successful motion to reject a 20kmh speed restriction and traffic calming on the seaside road.

Mr Acklin was yesterday fuming over the city council's decision to reopen John Wilson Dr to traffic and retain the 50kmh speed limit as an interim measure, to save the cost of traffic calming measures.

''After all these years of the debate this is the biggest cop out,'' Mr Acklin said.

The cost, at $97,000, was minimal compared to the $750,000 it would spend to support community events at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, Mr Acklin said.

''To introduce a 50kmh speed limit now that it has been used as a pedestrian area for so long is irresponsible.

''To open up that road with no barrier between the road and the footpath walking  area, and to have it at 50kmh, no traffic calming measures, that is just like putting a bullet in the long range rifle.

''It is a long wide road. Vehicles will go fast.''

Mr Acklin believed the move was an accident waiting to happen.

The city council closed John Wilson Ocean Dr to vehicles several years ago, citing safety issues.

After exhaustive consultation, the road is again to be reopened for part of the day. It was envisaged because of the traffic pedestrian mix to introduce lower speeds and traffic calming methods.

Mr Acklin said screeds of consultation on the future of the road had been done but nobody had been listened to.

However, Mr Cull was adamant council could not afford to bear the cost of traffic calming measures as it aims for a 4 per cent rate increase next year.

The move was an interim measure only until council could find the money  to do the work in another budget year, Mr Cull said.

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