Concerns over driveway crossing rules

Last updated 05:00 02/05/2014
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Rural ratepayers are concerned new rules for driveway crossings will prove unnecessarily expensive.

Timaru District Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon has said the policy's "aspirational goal" was for every driveway crossing to be marked clearly and safely accessible.

However, the Geraldine, Temuka and Pleasant Point community boards are concerned about the potential cost and feasibility of its enforcement.

Pleasant Point Community Board member Raewyn Hessell said there were too many crossings which would not comply.

"It's simply going to be too much of an expense to get them all done, it should only apply to new developments," she said.

"Requiring all homes to comply would create a great deal of ill feeling in the community."

Temuka ward councillor Pat Mulvey said there could be "some leniency" for crossings where there were only grass berms.

"It's going to be a suck-it-and-see situation," he said.

The policy proposes driveway crossings should be sealed with asphalt in urban areas, and two coat chip and bitumen seal in rural areas. Geraldine Community Board chairman Wayne O'Donnell said it would become yet another compliance cost.

"There are enough costs forced on us," he said. "There's a lot of work for the council to do.

"We understand the council's concerns about safety, and someone has to pay for the damage, but we don't know how it will be enforced."

O'Donnell said there was also concern about how the rules would apply to vehicle crossings for heavy rural traffic, such as Fonterra tankers or haulage trucks.

"There is broad agreement from the community boards that the rules would be unenforceable if they applied to all existing crossings, but we appreciate a standard is required for new ones," he said.

It is proposed property owners pay for the upgrading of a non-compliant crossing. The council would be responsible for the ongoing cost of maintenance and renewal of compliant urban vehicle crossings.

However, rural property owners are responsible for the ongoing cost of their vehicle crossing.

Council's district services manager Ashley Harper said it could become a "gnarly" issue as there were hundreds of non-compliant driveway crossings in rural areas.

The council will begin another round of consultation with the community boards over the next month.

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- The Timaru Herald


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