Locking up reserve at night keeps out vandals

Closing the Scenic Reserve at night is having the desired effect.

Timaru District Council parks and recreation manager Bill Steans said the amount of vandalism in the reserve had fallen since gates installed six months ago closed the road through the park at night.

Even incidents of rubbish being dumped in the reserve, such as happened last weekend, have declined since the gates were installed.

Mr Steans said the weekend rubbish possibly the aftermath of a party or a vehicle being emptied out had probably been dumped during the day because it was in an area hidden from general view. Attempts to identify where it had come from had been unsuccessful.

At this time of the year, the gates were not closed until 10pm to allow people to use the area until dark.

Mr Steans said that at first people closing the gates had had to speak to a few motorists to warn them that the gates were about to be locked.

Generally, the public had been supportive of the road being shut at night to prevent vandalism and damage.

Timaru Botanic Gardens are also locked at night to prevent vehicle access and signs have gone up at Caroline Bay warning people not to drive on to the beach.

Earlier in the week, drivers took advantage of an unlocked gate on Marine Parade to drive down to the water's edge.

An Environment Canterbury bylaw bans parking on beaches and a district bylaw restricts vehicles' speed on beaches to 20kmh.

Gates in the area have been unlocked to provide access to contractors working on the Bay redevelopment.

Signs now in position explain that only authorised vehicles are allowed on the beach.

The Timaru Herald