Saturday, 17 November 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Bluff Road - things are moving in the right direction

All Rings Beach residents and bach owners have had for some time concerns about the safety of the only access road to Rings Beach.

Following an article published in The Informer in April this year about the home owners’ concerns, TCDC was quick to assess the situation. TCDC Area Manager North, Allan Tiplady, and other TCDC staff members met with the home owners at Rings Beach in early May and various recommendations were made. The TCDC roading team have now come back some measures that will be implemented to make the road safer. It’s hoped that everything will be done by the end of November, in time for the busy summer season.

Rings Beach is serviced by only one access road, Bluff Road to Grays Beach. The 30 plus home owners were concerned about the robustness and safety of this single access road. The road is narrow, down to one lane in places, and has some dangerous blind spots. Much of the road is not paved, it becomes rutted with large potholes every year and is prone to landslides.  

Because the road is the only access TCDC and emergency services have to Rings Beach, the home owners were specifically concerned about the potential loss of the road due to slips and other natural occurrences. Exacerbating the situation was the opening of the Matarangi end of Bluff Road to pedestrians and cyclists a year or so ago. The treacherous road is now increasingly shared by motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians alike, especially at busy holiday times. According to the residents, the road was an accident in the making

TCDC confirmed that the following things are expected to happen at Bluff Road by the end of November -

  • New pedestrian warning signs will be installed in prominent and visible locations, so that pedestrians and cyclists are clearly warned to take care in sharing the road with motor vehicles.        
  • A rickety galvanised rail on one of the sharp corners, installed in the 1940s, will replaced with a guard rail and there will also be a new mirror to be installed for visibility around the corner.
  • To discourage the flow of extra motor vehicles that are not familiar with the area, there will be a new, more visible sign at the eastern end of Bluff Road (near the State Highway 25 intersection), advising that Bluff Road does not provide vehicle access between Rings Beach and Matarangi.        

There is also talk about the lowering the speed limit along Bluff Road to 40km/h in accordance with a wider national speed management review. This will be less useful as it is physically impossible to go very fast on road due to its condition.

Although the list of measures TCDC will implemented before the end of November do not address the longer term viability of the road, the feeling among the Rings Beach home owners are that things are moving in the right direction.

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.