Eye St roundabout 'difficult, confusing'

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2014
Peter West-Price
JOHN HAWKINS/ Fairfax NZ

NOT HAPPY: Peter West-Price can't for the life of him understand how the new Eye St roundabout came to be as it is.

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Poll: Peter West-Price has been a truck driver for 32 years but says he has never seen such a bad roading setup as a new roundabout at the intersection of Conon and Eye streets.

Mr West-Price drives a "maximum truck with minimum clearance" and at 22 metres long it is quite a large vehicle to get around a tight space. And it was certainly proving difficult, he said.

He had "already killed" a few road cones and made marks on the footpaths where his trailer had to run over them to get around the roundabout.

"I even killed some more cones this morning."

Mr West-Price said left and right turns were proving difficult at the roundabout.

"The left turn is not fun because you've got those bloody footpaths."

Driving over the footpaths would blow trucks' tyres out and he had already caused cracks on the edge of the pavements, he said.

However, Invercargill City Council roading manager Russell Pearson said the setup was temporary and would be removed in about three months when the upgrade of Tweed St was complete.

The roundabout was put in place on Thursday.

Although he understood Mr West-Price's frustrations, the strategy had worked well in Gala St during the Queens Drive upgrade, Mr Pearson said.

He conceded that "trucks will have some trouble getting around them in the short term," but the roundabouts were put in place to ensure the safest traffic flows.

Mr West-Price said the temporary roundabout in Gala St was just as bad and he had to "avoid it like the plague".

He could not understand why the council even needed to one in place in Eye St and why it could not leave the intersection as it was, with give way signs, he said.

The setup was causing "utter confusion".

When The Southland Times visited the intersection, there were nearly two crashes, clearly because of driver confusion.

Mr West-Price said there would be crashes and more close misses if the council did not make any changes.

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