In an era when nearly all significant developments relating to road use are subjected to increasing, often costly and frustrating delays, the legislative "net" sometimes ignores it or avoids interference.
The diversion of "cruise boats" to Akaroa is one such case.
Following the severe damage to port infrastructure at Lyttleton from seismic events, upwards of one hundred such diversions have occurred this summer.
Anyone with a slight involvement in a change of use connected to access or use of a State Highway or even minor secondary roads with minimal traffic flows, will have come up against the pedantic and often unnecessary requirements for a "traffic management" plan that can be so onerous and or expensive as to cause abandonment of what might have been a laudable activity.
So say 90 cruise boat movements involving say 2000 passengers average, employing the rule of thumb that 1/3 stay aboard, 1/3 stroll around Akaroa and the final 1/3 take a tour, that results in around 16 'A' class coaches on SH 75 four times a day or 64 "movements". This on a Highway that is only marginally substandard to Little River but then is a challenging narrow and demanding bit of road to Akaroa. Add in an upsurge of traffic involved in the rebuild along with the 'normal' flows, a significant alteration to safety and congestion is apparent.
Had an entrepreneur proposed such a significant additional activity for the summer season I wonder what Transit NZ's reaction would have been, considerable I suspect, but with the demon god "Tourism inc" involved there has been very little interest shown by those charged with maintaining and monitoring our link to the world that for much of its length has no viable alternative options for detour.
I have on three occasions been involved in extreme danger from coaches (where do the drivers get a licence? from the back of a weetbix packet) crossing the centerline, encroaching into 1/2 of my lane with a bank on my left leaving centimeters of tolerance and a forth incident when one of the monoliths scooping up money here in paradise, ran a giveway causing a violent braking maneuver from me to avoid a 't bone'.
I am a sporadic user of SH 75 with my sometimes extended times away and a natural inclination to hunker down when the madness descends, the potential for a disaster looms large in my mind with my association with ER activity and it seems a case of 'when' and not 'if' potential.
Question: was there any inquiry as to traffic involvement in the ramifications of diverting the large volumes of additional tourists to Akaroa.
Oh as a relevant point, during a canvas of our village yesterday on a charity matter, an impression formed that the "boats" are creating extra business for a few but a vacuum has been created on non boat days with what could be best described as avoidance by the traditional 'visitor' due to the perceived chaos caused by the "visits from the sea".
Any notion of a widespread advantage to our town are seriously exaggerated to an increasingly concerned number among us including some significant players in the local business community.
The big winners are the shipping companies and inland tourist activities who have scant regard for the effects that the steam roller approach is having on many who chose to live in paradise.
General Debate 29 July 2014
28 minutes ago