Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 25 August 2011 Contents LOCAL NEWS
25 August, 2011 | Page 3
"Disgrace" and "an accident
waiting to happen" were some of
the epithets used to describe the
state of Ramparts Road, just out
of Te Anau, at a recent meeting of
A group of about 30 residents met
on Saturday to air their concerns
and discuss ways of eliciting some
action from the Southland District
Council before it's too late.
Of particular safety concern is the
road's steep gradient, especially
at the SH94 end, and a couple of
dangerous corners where visibility
is limited. There are places
with precipitous drops where
residents belive the addition of
barriers would greatly improve
safety. There have already been
numerous incidents of drivers
losing control of their vehicles on
Ramparts Road and those at the
meeting expressed their fear that
it could be only a matter of time
before there is a fatality.
Particularly grating to residents
is the fact that the subdivision
developers had to make a
financial contribution of $5000
per property to the Southland
District Council towards the road
upgrade -- the cost of which was
passed on to the new buyers.
Although nearly 10 years
have gone since those early
contributions were made, no one
has seen the money put to its
SDC Te Anau area engineer,
Graham Jones, said Ramparts
Road was on top of the council's
priority list, however there were
insufficient funds in the roading
budget to seal the road.
"We are looking at making some
improvements this summer, but
there is no chance of fixing the
road up to the Observation Point,"
Mr Jones said. "The residents'
contributions won't go very far.
We are waiting for the roading
department of SDC to provide
extra funding", he said.
According to the council's
records, residents contributed
$75,000 towards the upgrade,
but the residents believe this
amount should be higher. Mr
Jones said this money was in a
separate account, but it had not
been invested and its value was
dropping with inflation.
Stephen McElroy, who has lived in
Ramparts Road since 1984 said
the road was acceptable until the
"There was a sudden upturn in
traffic due to farming fortunes,
tourist industry and subdivisions,"
As a rural road, Ramparts Road
gets a lot of heavy haulage truck
and tractor traffic. Stock trucks,
fertiliser delivery trucks and
heavy agricultural machinery put
the road's gravel surface to a
tough test. The development of
new subdivisions between State
Highway 94 and the Observation
Point led to a substantial
increase in building construction
machinery, such as diggers,
bulldozers, concrete mixers and
cranes being transported up and
down the road. New residents'
private cars also added to the
road's already heavy usage.
Residents have also noticed a
marked increase in tourist buses
and private cars visiting the
Observation Point in recent years,
with the spectacular views also
a drawcard for cyclists, walkers
and horse riders. Other users
include school buses, mail delivery
vehicles, sales people and,
occasionally, emergency services.
Bernadette and Gary Powell have
had two medical call-outs for their
daughter in the last three months.
"The ambulance drivers were quite
horrified with the condition of our
road and were apologetic as it
took longer than they anticipated
to get to us and said it added
at least an extra five minutes to
their trip out. Now in a more life
threatening situation that five
minutes could mean life or death",
Mrs Powell said.
The council grades the road
several times a year, however
the residents were united in their
belief that this was not enough.
Spreading more gravel on the
road only made it more slippery
and dangerous while, soon after
grading, new corrugations and
potholes replace the ones just
fixed. The residents decided to
lobby the council to seal Ramparts
Road and implement other safety
features, such as road signs
and barriers. They would also
like to have a say in how their
contributions are used.
Te Anau road rage
Te Anau's Ramparts Road residents at a meeting on Saturday held to discuss
concerns about the state of their road.
By Alina Suchanski
New Zealanders are known for
their ingenuity and more than
200 'young minds' will soon have
the chance to show off their skills
at the annual Southland rural
schools BP Challenge on Tuesday
(August 30) at the Waianiwa
Primary school students from
more than 20 schools around the
Southland region will arrive on
the day and will be given several
mystery challenges to work on.
They will only be given simple
materials such as paper, sticky
tape, string and a pair of scissors
to make their devices.
Waianiwa School principal and co-
ordinator of the Southland event
Bev O'Neill said students would
really need to put their thinking
caps on. This is 'real pressure'
stuff as they only have a limited
time, usually about 20 minutes, to
make their device or product.
"It never ceases to amaze me the
many wonderful and imaginative
ideas that the students come up
with and they all have a lot of fun
on the day."
The BP Challenge has been
running in schools for more than
15 years, administered by the
Royal Society of New Zealand on
behalf of BP Oil NZ Ltd for the past
It aims to foster life skills that
all students need for them to be
successful adults in the future.
Introducing Linzi our Design Consultant
FREEPHONE 0800 177 177
showroom cnr Dee & Lowe Sts
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