Residents irate over traffic

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014

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Tikorangi residents are fed up with constantly battling against petrochemical traffic and say the council has only made matters worse.

Last night Tikorangi residents spoke to the New Plymouth District Council policy committee to voice their concerns about the years of frustration they have faced outside of their homes.

Abbie Jury said the residents had constantly put up with heavy traffic generated by petrochemical development in the area.

The residents have never disputed the rights of the companies to use the roads, she said, but council had ignored suggestions of how the situation could be better managed.

"We are at a loss to understand why, after a year, we have failed to make any progress on this matter despite going through all the correct council channels," she said.

Instead of listening to the plea of residents to lower the speed limits, council went ahead and widened, strengthened and straightened the roads, fellow Tikorangi resident Helen Powick said.

Otaraoa Rd has been undergoing major works since October last year at the insistence of the council roading team and despite objections from the residents, she said.

"But with significant sections of the road now wider and straighter, vehicle speeds have almost certainly increased.

"The fact that the road is being engineered to meet the perceived needs of the oil industry traffic is a source of great frustration for many residents who have lost the freedom to walk, cycle or ride horses along it."

Jury and Powick discussed a raft of other issues the residents had, including heavy and unnecessary council signage in the area, roadside parking for oil company staff and the appropriateness of the designated cycle route through what has become an area with considerable heavy traffic.

Deputy mayor Heather Dodunski called for council officers to prepare a report into the issues at Tikorangi, so councillors could investigate.

Councillor Gordon Brown echoed her request and said the issues needed to be addressed.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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