Regional council may get tough on trespassers
Regional council park rangers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the behaviour of people ignoring closed signs on the new Te Ara o Whareroa cycleway and putting themselves and others in danger.
"Last Sunday we came across five different parties on the track in just half an hour," says Principal Ranger (Western) Wayne Boness. "Closed means closed, whether or not it's the weekend. If this behaviour doesn't stop we will have to take steps towards serving trespass notices. It's not something we want to do but some people are completely ignoring safety requirements."
With news of the cycleway's progress spreading the regional council has had a lot of interest in the site, and unfortunately quite a few unauthorised visitors.
"While the interest is welcome, visitors are not permitted in the cycleway's construction area. Our park rangers and construction personnel have told us tales of people riding and walking onto the new surface and confronting quickly moving trucks, bulldozers and front end loaders," says Mr Boness. "People are putting themselves in harm's way and we're lucky that so far someone hasn't been injured."
The fact is that the track is narrow and a lot of machinery is being used. A collision is highly likely if people get in the way because the machinery cannot avoid them. The council wants to avoid injuries and is urging people to stay out of the construction zone , which is clearly marked by signs, at all times. This includes weekends, when the construction vehicles are serviced.
About 3.5 km of the 6.6 km track has been formed and is awaiting surface capping. It will be completed by Christmas and officially opened at the end of January 2016.
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