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Messy verges, crossings under fire

GRASS verges by the side of the new Wainui cycleway are not being maintained and are untidy, Gisborne district councillor Pat Seymour told the Future Tairawhiti committee.

The council had a lovely new concrete path linking the cycleways funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency, but who would end up paying for maintenance of it?

With the autumn growth, kikuyu grass was growing wild beside the new path.

It had been reported to her there were also castor oil plants growing beside it.

It was good to have these assets funded by NZTA but would they then fall into the council’s budget?

Could the council extract from the NZTA some contribution towards the ongoing maintenance, she asked.

“Someone who walks on it regularly tells me that it is really untidy.

“Most of it you can see as you drive by. Both ends are flat and are easily mown, but quite a lot is along a raised section that is not going to be so easy to mow,” she said.

“There is an untidy mess between the concrete pathway and the roadside.”

Most of the blackberry had been sprayed but who was going to maintain that?

The issue of public safety of children crossing the road had been raised at the regional transport committee.

Children on bikes felt unsafe in the middle of the road at crossings.

Gisborne District Council community lifelines director David Wilson said phase 2 of the Wainui cycleway had not been completed. Once it was, it would be handed back to the council.

When it did, Tairawhiti Roads, through NZTA, would pay Recreational Services to maintain it so the council got money to maintain it.

“Can we expect them to mow it until they hand it over?” said Mrs Seymour.

Mr Wilson said he expected they would have time for one more mow before they handed it back to the council.

The crossings would be checked to make sure the barriers were secure, and the council was waiting for a review to come back.

Shannon Dowsing said he lived opposite one of those crossings.

There had been a behavioural change by some drivers in which cars actually stopped at a crossing in the middle of the highway.

When drivers were coming from the Sponge Bay turn-off there was a short period of visibility, and a distracted driver could easily go up the back of another vehicle.

A lot of unintended consequences had been raised by the crossings, said Mr Dowsing.