One road in, 15 cul-de-sacs

Euro­pean ticks Cook Strait off her ‘to-do’ list

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE - JEN­NIFER EDER

Liv­ing in a sub­urb with more than 500 prop­er­ties and only one exit – what could go wrong?

Rivers­dale, in Blenheim, bor­dered by rivers off State High­way 1, is home to hun­dreds – who could get stuck there in an emer­gency.

To leave the sub­urb by ve­hi­cle, res­i­dents such as Aileen Thomas must drive down Budge St, cross a rail­way line and turn onto the high­way.

Thomas said the Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil needed to build an­other street out of the sub­urb, be­fore an­other emer­gency iso­lated res­i­dents.

‘‘I think it is a mas­sive plan­ning over­sight. It just makes com­mon sense that there’s an­other road out ... I think it’s re­ally needed.’’

A man was hit by a train at the Budge St cross­ing in 2016, clos­ing the street for about four hours and prevent­ing res­i­dents from get­ting in or out of the sub­urb.

‘‘I was at work when it hap­pened and I just had to wait un­til they cleared the road. There’s also a day­care cen­tre down the street no­body could get to,’’ Thomas said.

‘‘The amount of near misses I’ve seen, right at the train tracks. There’s a lot of tourists driv­ing past and peo­ple who aren’t sure where they’re go­ing to turn. You of­ten hear tyres screech­ing and there’s al­ways peo­ple backed up at the in­ter­sec­tion wait­ing to get out,’’ Thomas said.

The high­way end of Budge St was also eas­ily con­gested, as there were usu­ally cars parked on both sides near a back­packer hos­tel and a bowls club, Thomas said.

Trucks trav­el­ling on SH1 used Budge St to en­ter a Z Ser­vice Sta­tion on the corner, adding to the chaos, she said.

‘‘I would say an­other ac­ci­dent is prob­a­bly in­evitable.’’

Thomas was one of three res­i­dents to call for a sec­ond road in to be built, as part of sub­mis­sions op­pos­ing a 240-bed com­mune pro­posed for Budge St near the rail­way line.

‘‘I’m not op­posed to the de­vel­op­ment at all, I’m just con­cerned about the num­ber of res­i­dents who rely on that one street,’’ Thomas said. ‘‘There is a foot­bridge at the end of El­iz­a­beth St. They prob­a­bly could put a big­ger bridge there as an al­ter­na­tive.’’

Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil as­sets and ser­vices man­ager Richard Con­ing­ham said some­one had once sug­gested putting an­other road into Rivers­dale over the foot­bridge.

But in his two years with the coun­cil, the is­sue of ac­cess had never been raised as some­thing that re­quired a so­lu­tion, he said.

‘‘Any­thing is fea­si­ble if some­one is pre­pared to pay,’’ Con­ing­ham said.

‘‘There would have to be an anal­y­sis of whether an­other road is re­quired there, and that would be done by Marl­bor­ough Roads.’’

The sub­urb was laid out ‘‘a very long time ago, well be­fore the cur­rent road­ing re­quire­ments came into place’’.

There was land avail­able on Dil­lons Point Rd that could be used

‘‘I think it is a mas­sive plan­ning over­sight. It just makes com­mon sense that there’s an­other road out ... I think it’s re­ally needed.’’ Aileen Thomas

SCOTT HAM­MOND/STUFF

Rivers­dale res­i­dent Aileen Thomas says the in­ter­sec­tion where Budge St meets State High­way 1 is of­ten con­gested.

A pedes­trian bridge links El­iz­a­beth St, in Rivers­dale, with Dil­lons Point Rd, in Islington, above, and Dix Cres­cent, right, is one of 15 culde-sacs in Rivers­dale.

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