Councillor reassures upset residents

Last updated 05:00 18/02/2014
tony brien
Timaru District councillor Anthony Brien

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Trucks transporting clay in Rosewill are not speeding, a Timaru District councillor has assured residents.

Rooneys Earthmoving has been given a temporary resource consent until April 25 to take 42,000 cubic metres of clay from its Rolling Ridges Rd quarry, with 96 vehicle movements allowed a day to the oxidation ponds which require the clay.

Upset residents have complained about the traffic since last July, as heavy vehicle trips rose from three a day causing upset about the dust, the trucks speeding and the interruption to their quiet rural neighbourhood.

A meeting held with residents, council representatives and Rooney Earthmoving owner Gary Rooney last week found little resolution.

Cr Tony Brien attended the meeting at Rosewill Valley Hall along with Mayor Damon Odey and Cr Tracy Tierney and regulatory services manager Chris English.

Cr Brien took matters into his own hands to allay fears about the speed of the truck and wrote to Rosewill residents.

"Several members of the community [at the meeting] stated that the trucks were travelling more than the allowable 90kmh. Naturally this is a very serious matter and while Mr Rooney advised they were not, at the end of the meeting I spoke to Mr Rooney and asked if I, as a somewhat independent party, could view the computer records to check this and then report back to you.

"I went to the Rooney Earthmoving offices unannounced - to ensure legitimacy of viewing the recordings, and spent time reviewing the records.

"I can report to you that the records do not show any speeds above 90kmh since the start of the operation. Indeed I spent time watching actual truck movements - as tracked by satellite and again saw no overspeed movements.

"I personally accept, and expect, that these truck drivers are professional drivers and as such would not be setting out to put any of their fellow community members at deliberate risk."

Rolling Ridges Rd resident Joe Harris said the issue was not that the trucks were breaching the speed limit, but the speed was not appropriate for the road.

"The concern was, that regardless of the speed limit, the speed they are travelling is too fast for the conditions; a small rural road with children and stock. The fact that the speed limit is 90kmh does not mean you travel at that speed if it is not safe."

The $17 million Aorangi Rd wastewater treatment plant upgrade is expected to be completed in May.

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- The Timaru Herald


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