Council wants fix for tiles

Timaru's slippery main street tiles will get a proper inspection this month.

District council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said the next month would be spent analysing the problem.

"Clearly, they're on the public's mind, but we have to figure out the best way to approach this issue," he said.

"We simply don't know how much it will cost, and what material would be needed."

Dixon would talk to contractors about possible treatment of the tiles, as well as analyse public response about which were the worst areas.

The planned refresh of the CBD is expected to cost about $1 million over two years, but some councillors said replacing the tiles could cost about $500,000.

"I'm not sure where they got that figure from," Dixon said.

He said the tiles were installed 15 years ago and met the required slip resistance standard of the time.

"I understand that complaints over the slipperiness of the tiles has been a more recent issue over the last seven years," Dixon said.

"This may be due to the wear from foot traffic that has ‘polished' the surface that would make them more slippery in the wet. We do not get complaints from all areas of the CBD such as the piazza which indicates it is a wear issue."

Dixon hoped to present a report to the council at its July meeting. The report would outline the potential costs and methods of addressing the issue. "From there, it's up to them," he said.

"Personally, I think our tiles have held up pretty well, especially when you compare it to similarly aged tiles in other cities such as Dunedin."

Timaru district councillor Tracy Tierney said she received more complaints about the tiles than any other aspect of the council. "People are really aware of them. I received so many calls from people during last year's election campaign.

"I know they can be a hazard - I've slipped on them myself - but we want a solution that is sensible and affordable."

The Timaru Herald