Nelson Mail Article: 1 Aug 2013

Momentum is gathering for a protest march in Tahunanui, as residents and businesses owners seek to be heard on matters they say they are being ignored over.

A march is planned for Friday, August 9, from the corner of Rawhiti St and Tahunanui Drive to the intersection in the heart of the Tahunanui village by KFC.

It will start at 3.15pm and be open to people joining along the way.

Tahunanui Business Association chairman, Mike Thomas, said the march was about drawing attention to the community’s call to be shown respect, instead of being ignored by city council and state highway decision makers.

“The community march is to highlight the long-running lack of care for the Tahunanui village by NZTA [the New Zealand Transport Agency] and the Nelson City Council.

“The current issue that has heightened community frustration is safety and access to community services and businesses at the SH6 Tahunanui intersection,” he said.

NZTA was to have released a report on improvements to State Highway 6, Tahunanui intersection, but it pulled the report and agreed to review it after the study on the Rocks Rd walkway-cycleway study, which was due to start soon.

The Government roading authority had already met businesses to discuss issues around the safety of the intersection at the Tahunanui lights. In a report to the council, the agency said that one option for improving the intersection was to extend the clearway, but that needed support and consultation.

The Tahunanui Business Association was recently unanimous in wanting clearways along Tahunanui Drive removed, saying they were ineffective and harmed businesses in the area.

Mr Thomas said the association wanted NZTA to trial its solution of removing the clearways and reinstating car parking south of the lights.

Tahunanui Community Centre management committee chairwoman Ange Bryant said it was important for the community to express its concerns and be heard.

– © Fairfax NZ News