Blocking road would risk lives

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Waitati Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief fire officer Lindsay Scott

Rather than blocking a Waitati road, better safety measures should be considered, a fireman says.

Waitati Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief fire officer Lindsay Scott, speaking at a Waikouaiti Coast Community Board at Waitati Hall last week, said he objected to a call to install a barrier in Shortcut Rd in Waitati.

In February, The Star reported on Shortcut Rd resident Chris Linsell launching a petition aiming to get the Dunedin City Council to install a barrier in the road, just south of the junction with Don Creeks Rd.

The barrier would stop the road being used as a through road and improve user safety.

Mr Scott said his main concern about the installation of a barrier was the extra time it would take a crew responding to an emergency to get to Waitati Fire Station.

If an emergency vehicle travelled up Shortcut Rd to get to an emergency and discovered its location was beyond the barrier, vehicles would need to reverse down the road and then travel along Mt Cargill Rd, to access Shortcut Rd from the top end, he said.

“This will impact on the response time .. which will put residents’ lives at risk.”

Rather than installing a barrier to improve safety, the council would be better to seal Shortcut Rd, install better road markings and reduce the speed limit from 100kmh to 30kmh.

If a barrier was to be installed, he wanted the council to consult the community.

“We all need to think this issue through properly and not make any sudden changes to closure of roads without proper consultation and investigation of all safety issues.”

Dunedin city councillor Jim O’Malley said at a past meeting, the board passed a resolution to ask the council for the necessary steps to progress a request to block the road.

“The feedback from the [council] staff was there would need to a significant consultation period for anything like that to happen.”

Council transport group manager Jeanine Benson spoke at the board meeting.

Board chairman Alasdair Morrison told Ms Benson people living in Beach St, Waikouaiti, had lodged complaints with the board about “the frequency, volume, weight and speed of truck and trailer units going to and from the poultry farm”.