Clubs disappointed at latest Links Ave trial

A sign at Links Avenue Reserve indicating the previous trial in November last year. Photo. John Borren.

Two clubs who regularly use the reserve on Links Avenue are disappointed at a lack of consultation over the latest plans for a cul-de-sac on the Mount Maunganui street.

Tauranga City Council, meanwhile, suggest there were plenty of opportunities for users to highlight issues with the plan, although that is disputed.

Last month, Council adopted a plan to trial a cul-de-sac on Links Avenue for four months, in a move that will also involve removal of the bus lane and the inclusion of a 30km per hour speed limit. Work is already underway on the road, with resurfacing in progress.

This followed a previous trial that ran for five weeks from November 2021, which was met with protests from some residents regarding a lack of consultation. The intention of the trial, according to Council, is to improve safety along the road, especially for school children.

The previous trial placed the cul-de-sac at the intersection of Ascot Road nearest to Golf Road. However, the new trial will see the cul-de-sac placed at the Concord Avenue end of Links Avenue, at Solway Place.

Links Avenue Reserve sits at the Concord Avenue end of the road and is the home of Tauranga City AFC football club. The reserve is also in regular use by the Mount Maunganui Dog Training Club. The venue is therefore in use most days of the week and, during the football season, at the weekends.

Users who previously had easy access to the reserve from Concord Avenue will now have to enter from Golf Road or Spur Avenue.

Tauranga City AFC call Links Avenue Reserve home. Photo. Mathew Nash.

TCAFC chairman Brendon McHugh says the club and Council are now in conversation over the issues but he remains frustrated.

'We're disappointed that there was no consultation for the last Links Ave trial and now this one, which will have an impact on our membership gaining access to our grounds and clubrooms,” says Brendon, whose club runs teams from ages four all the way to senior men's and women's teams competing in national leagues.

'We certainly understand the need to provide safer streets for our community, but can't see what a cul-de-sac achieves other than forcing more traffic onto Mt Maunganui and Ocean Beach Road and being inconvenient for the Links Ave community.”

TCC's director of transport, Brendan Bisley says a meeting with the football club took place in late February and other opportunities to provide feedback were possible.

'Residents, stakeholders, and community groups were able to provide feedback during the first Links Avenue trial via phone and email and post-trial via an online survey until late January,” says Brendan.

'This feedback helped inform the staff recommendation of a second Links Avenue trial which includes the removal of the bus lane and change in cul-de-sac location sac to the Concord Avenue end of Links Avenue.

'The details of the proposed second Links Avenue trial were presented at two community meetings held on February 3, 2022, prior to being considered by Commissioners at the February 14, 2022, Council meeting.”

However, MMDTC secretary Hayley Andrew takes exception to those comments.

She says the meeting to discuss the new proposal was not well publicised and that reactions to the previous trial were irrelevant, considering the change in locations.

'We are quite astounded at how TCC has pushed the current proposal through with no consultation,” says Hayley, who believes 95 per cent of members currently access the reserve from Concord Avenue.

'I have emails stating that we will be kept informed of the project, only received after we raised with them that they hadn't consulted with TCC Leaseholders to start with, but the whole TCC meeting to progress with the closing of Links Avenue at Concord was kept extremely quiet.

'TCC's argument was that we had the opportunity to respond to the survey on the previous trial, but that trial didn't have a huge effect on our clubs because of its location, and the survey didn't mention anything about the current proposal.”

Brendon is hopeful 'common sense will prevail” and suggests the cul-de-sac should only run in business hours, to reduce traffic during school runs, rather than just 'blocking access” at Concord Avenue.

Hayley believes moving the proposed cul-de-sac location a few hundred metres, beyond the reserve car park and Solway Place, would be a preferable solution. This would then still allow access to the reserve from Concord Ave for users.

However, both are likely to be left disappointed judging by Brendan's comments.

'All vehicles will be able to access Links Avenue Reserve via Golf Road or Spur Avenue,” says Brendan.

'At Concord Avenue - buses, bicycles, motorbikes, emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles, and marked taxis will be able to enter and exit Links Avenue.

'All feedback from the first Links Avenue trial, including time-based restrictions, was considered to form the recommendations for the second trial.

'To most accurately understand the impact it would have on the community and local network, the cul-de-sac will be in place 24/7.

The latest cul-de-sac trial on Links Ave begins on March 28 and full details on TCC's plans can be seen here.

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Bring back democracy

Posted on 15-03-2022 12:17 | By Wigan

This issue of Links Ave is almost irrelevant to the bigger picture here & that is we are slowly being taken over by a dictatorship driven by central government. The thin end of the wedge is they start to get a little bossy, but then they get a taste of power & we are on a slippery slope. Good news in NZ we always have an election coming to vote them out... But wait! this is Tauranga What election?

I provided feedback!

Posted on 15-03-2022 13:15 | By jed

Council didn't even acknowledge it. The links ave trials are a disaster because it is a bad idea. The case for the trial is flawed too... there have been few (if any injuries, council doesn't specifically identify any accidents caused because of the road design). Bisley is doing a shocking job, destroying an entire road for an infrequently occurring issue. The bus lanes on links are a terrible idea, they are so dangerous, buses do not respect the bus lanes and just pull out on cars when they like.


Posted on 16-03-2022 10:19 | By peanuts9

Poor diddums. Funny how those most affected, i.e. the residents are not complaining.

Links Ave Resident

Posted on 16-03-2022 10:19 | By JeffLaw

The money-wasing Tauranga Council strikesc again! They have removed several speed-humps at huge expense and then installed (wait for it!) three new speed-humps at huge expense. There has been zero consultation with the residents who could have saved ratepayers this enormous waste of money. All Links Ave needs is a set of LED speed-limit signs - 30km/h from 8:00-9:00 and then between 14:30 and 15:30 - problem solved!

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