Annesbrook Drive resident Jeremy Read is worried a new cycleway will cause accidents. Photo: Charles Anderson.

New cycleway ‘disaster waiting to happen’

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BY SARA HOLLYMAN AND CHARLES ANDERSON

Every time Jeremy Read sees a cyclist whizz past his house at 40kmh he just shakes his head.

“It’s going to be a disaster,” he says of the Annesbrook cycle way project, which has clogged one of the city’s main routes for the past several months.

Jeremy has lived on the road for the past 20 years and says he has had his fair share of issues with cyclists going too fast and not paying enough attention for him to turn safely into his driveway.

But now that the Tahunanui Pathways project is underway he fears that those dangers will be exacerbated.

“If you get someone going down there at 40kmh you do not have time to react,” he says. “It’s a ticking bomb. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

The project means that residents berms on one side of the road are being removed to allow for a widened shared pathway.

This week the main part of the work is outside Angela Pidgeon’s in-home childcare business.

“I’ll be honest, it’s a massive pain.”

However, she is in two minds as next year her daughter will go to Broadgreen Intermediate and it means she will be able to cycle safely the whole way there.

“But right now, it is pretty annoying. It gets quite chaotic in the mornings with drop-offs of children.”

She has also been told that her fence will need to be amended to allow for better viewings of cyclists.

“I’m not sure who pays for that.”

Some residents in the area also received a notice from Nelson City Council before the works began, informing them that there would be no right turn into or out of Douglas Rd between Wednesday March 20 and Friday April 12.

But it was just last week, almost month later, that the right-hand turn opened up. Residents say they would’ve expected some form of communication to inform them of the delay.

One resident who lives on Annesbrook Drive and did not want to be named says they didn’t receive any notice at all about the upcoming works.

“Lack of communication on council’s part as to letting the opposite side of the road know what the plan is, is terrible, I’ve had no information at all, the communication from both council and the contractors has been really poor.”

However, Annesbrook Drive’s ABS Motorcycle owner Andy Watson says contractors are doing a good job and traffic delays have been kept to a minimum.

“Overall it’s a fairly big project they’re doing in one hit and they’re managing it the best they can.”

The overall project will see improvements between the Annesbrook Drive roundabout and Parkers Road including installation of power ducts for Network Tasman, the renewal of a council water reticulation main and stage one of the Tahunanui Pathways upgrade project.

Council’s group manager infrastructure Alec Louverdis says the collaboration has delivered cost savings by being able to work together.

“It also importantly minimises the disruption to residents and road users by ensuring that all work is undertaken at the same time.”

He says the project is progressing well and, subject to weather conditions, a completion date of July is anticipated.

The cost of the project is shared between council, NZTA and Network Tasman.

Alec says the $712,000 water main renewal is a cost to NCC as is a $70,000 contribution to the pathway, with the remaining $500,000 paid for by NZTA’s Urban Cycleway Fund.

Network Tasman is paying for the new power cable, as well as a share of the trenching costs.

“The water main’s one they’ve needed to do for a while now so for it to be addressed is great, and to have the new pathway/ cycleway when it’s finished will be really good.

“Council takes the opportunity to thank everyone for their patience while we carry out this important upgrade project,” says Alec.

He also says that council worked hard to communicate what was going on to residents, including visiting them and doing letter-box drops.