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Thursday January 25 2018

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Fire rage s, homes

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No winners when tackling heavy Heavy trucks are more prevalent on residential streets following the February 22, 2011, earthquake – and some residents aren’t happy. Bridget Rutherford looks at why it is happening, and what can be done about it IT’S A catch-22 situation. They can be big, noisy and shake homes as they drive past. But they also deliver services and goods to different neighbourhoods, and they are a big part of the rebuild. So what are the rules around heavy vehicles using residential streets? And can they be banned? The city council has always had the ability to restrict heavy vehicles from using particular streets, but only under the Land Transport Act. City council Aaron transport Haymes operations manager Aaron Haymes said it required the police to enforce the ban and take every breach to court, which was “time consuming and inefficient.” He said the new Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2017, which comes into force on March 1 would make it easier to do. Under the new bylaw, the city council can prohibit or restrict any specified class of vehicle for its size or the goods carried if it is unsuitable on a particular road. “The bylaw changes make a breach of the heavy vehicle ban an offence against the bylaw for which the police can issue an instant infringement notice,” Mr Haymes said. Some residential streets

DIFFERENCE: While many trucks stick to arterial roads (above) in Christchurch, some have increased the use of residential streets such as Wigram’s Lodestar Ave (left). PHOTOS: MARTIN HUNTER

already had bans on them, including Hornby’s Seymour and Branston Sts, and St Johns St in Woolston. Trucks are allowed to use them if they are servicing residents. Retirees living on Wigram’s Lodestar Ave have campaigned

for more than a year for trucks to stop using the route. Lady Wigram Retirement Village residents put up signs asking drivers to use another route as the trucks were noisy and rattled everything in their units.

It resulted in a group of them being verbally abused by the retirement village’s owner John Tooby, who told them to “grow up” and “get a f***king life”. They had already approached Wigram MP Megan Woods and the Hornby-Halswell-Riccarton Community Board about the problem to no avail. Mr Haymes said for the last 25 years, the city council had worked to a four per cent rule when determining whether to put a ban in place or not. If the city council received a complaint about heavy vehicles, it would need to be verified by a heavy vehicle count. If the number of heavy

vehicles was higher than four per cent of the daily total, a ban could be imposed by the relevant community board, Mr Haymes said. Less than four per cent was considered normal, he said. “These HV bans are not put in place to prevent legitimate HVs using a street to service a dairy, shopping complex or deliver furniture or building supplies, but to stop the HV through movement of rat running/short cutting through a residential area.” City council staff have done a traffic and speed count of Lodestar Ave. The count found on average there were 1943 vehicles using the road each day, which was at the “higher end” of traffic volumes. But it found there 32 heavy vehicles or buses using the road each day, which equated to 1.6 per cent of all traffic – less than the four per cent threshold. The city council plans on doing another traffic volume and speed count midway through the year to compare. It did find there was a speeding problem on Lodestar Ave, with about 300 vehicles a day going at or above 60km/h when the speed limit was 50km/h. The city council asked police to patrol the area more. Fendalton’s Glandovey and Idris Rds are facing a similar problem with trucks. The Glandovey, Idris and Straven Residents’ Association had been trying to get heavy vehicles and trailers off Idris and Glandovey Rds since the intersection was upgraded in 2013. They say the trucks are noisy and made the roads unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists. The association commissioned a report that found trucks could not go through the intersection without cutting into other lanes due to its design.

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