Bucklands Beach locals lay out safety issues

Publish Date : 28 Feb 2023
Bucklands Beach Meeting

Speeding drivers, unsafe roads and a need for traffic calming measures dominated feedback at a Howick Local Board public meeting for Bucklands Beach residents.

The board’s Bucklands Beach Safety Improvements proposal brought out many residents, including one 83-year-old who had lost count of the number of people helped after crashes at the Laings Road and Bucklands Beach Road intersection.

Board Chair Damian Light says speed was a major concern at the notorious intersection, and measures from speed cameras, lights and traffic calming speed bumps were all suggested as potential solutions.

“If you want to know what is going on somewhere, the best people to talk to are invariably the people who live there, who use the roads and travel them regularly.

“Some of the stories we heard were eye-opening and frankly chilling. It would seem to be just good luck that we are not seeing more serious incidents at Bucklands Beach.”

The meeting was supported by the Bucklands and Eastern Beaches Residents Association, with the project funded from the board’s Transport Capital Fund in response to requests from locals over a number of years.

Auckland Transport and the board committed to returning to the community before decisions were made to provide a summary of feedback and any resulting design changes. But AT has put all consultations on hold in the wake of the storms.

Light was joined by fellow board members Bruce Kendall and David Collings, with AT representatives also on hand.

“The issues raised were not unlike those we hear from other areas, but there is a perception the situation is getting worse, that driver behaviour and speeding have the potential to cause fatalities,” Light says.

The number of sights identified by residents was a concern. Wharf Road, Laings, Buckland’s Beach, Seaspray Drive – or racetrack as locals call it - Whitcombe Road, Grangers Point, Musick Point, Half Moon Bay and roundabouts in the area were all cited.

“Residents are so concerned they’ve called for more police enforcement in their area.”

The lack of bus services linking to Howick and Half Moon Bay meant locals were forced into their cars to access those destinations, adding to traffic in an already busy area; while one cyclist told the meeting riding from Half Moon Bay to Musick Point was great, but going beyond that was too dangerous. “The path is too close to the edge. We need wider footpaths and signage tiling drivers to beware of cyclists,” Light says.

While there was acceptance of a problem, identifying a solution was more difficult.

“Some people want crossings at certain points, others want them somewhere else. Some are calling for speed bumps while other residents don’t want them, there’s calls for one-way routes, and others believe the problem could be solved by funding a police presence and cameras.

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