Safety fears cause de­lays

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

A blun­der by the Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil as part of the Cardrona traf­fic calm­ing ini­tia­tive has cost ratepay­ers about $30,000. Speed ‘‘thresh­olds’’, con­sist­ing of lo­cal river stones and ex­posed ag­gre­gate, in­stalled at the two en­trances of the town were found to be dan­ger­ous and were re­moved last week. Coun­cil in­fra­struc­ture and as­sets gen­eral man­ager Erik Barnes said the de­sign was sim­i­lar to that used in other parts of New Zealand but the par­tic­u­lar river stones used were found to be dan­ger­ous to mo­tor­cy­clists. ‘‘If they were to hit it in the wrong place po­ten­tially a tire could pop and throw the rider off caus­ing se­vere in­jury,’’ Mr Barnes said. Wa­ter col­lect­ing and freez­ing in win­ter could have also cause rid­ers to skid, Mr Barnes said. The beams used in the thresh­olds, which were re­us­able, cost $50,000, while it cost $40,000 to in­stall them and ap­prox­i­mately $15,000 to have them re­moved and re­in­stated. How­ever, the cost was shared with the New Zealand Trans­port Agency af­ter it funded part of the project. The coun­cil thought po­ten­tial is­sues were ad­dressed


and be­fore in­stalling the thresh­olds but in the end the project proved to be un­safe, Mr Barnes said. ‘‘It was an easy de­ci­sion to re­move them . . . We do not want to com­pro­mise any­one’s life.’’ he said. A more suit­able use for the thresh­olds would be found so they were not wasted. How­ever, at this stage Mr Barnes was un­able to say what that would be.

Pho­tos: CHE BAKER

U-turn: Con­trac­tors work to re­move speed ‘‘thresh­olds’’ in­stalled as part of the Cardrona traf­fic calm­ing ini­tia­tive af­ter con­cerns were raised about safety.

Bumpy ride: Amo­tor­cy­clist ne­go­ti­ates the speed ‘‘thresh­olds’’.

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