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Restriction speeds postie's return

By LAUREN OWENS

Jamie and Renee Blythe will soon be able to wave their letters and bills high in victory when Te Puke's postie returns to their section of Seddon St.
After more than a year of driving to town to pick up their mail, Mr and Mrs Blythe, along with 10 other residents, will again be making use of their mailboxes by the end of next week.
The residents' campaign, which has included a spot on television show Fair Go, last week came to a victorious end when Western Bay of Plenty District Council reduced the speed of the 600m stretch of their road to 50kmh. Other roads in the district have also had speed reductions.
New Zealand Post had decided their section of Seddon St too dangerous for posties to deliver mail by bicycle.
Until August last year, the road was assumed by NZ Post to be 50 kmh but when an open road sign - meaning drivers could do up to 100kmh - was put up, it reassessed that stretch.
It decided that because of the lack of footpaths and two blind corners it was too dangerous for a postal worker.
"I don't think I would have wanted to be on a bike on that road," acknowledged Mrs Blythe, a resident on Seddon St for the past four years.
Eleven houses have subsequently missed out on having their mail delivered, although the 39 homes before the Blythes' address still did.
Mrs Blythe said motorists could not safely do more than 50kmh on the stretch of road anyway because of the sharp corners.
Her next door neighbour's fence had been smashed into twice already - and she blamed excessive speed.
"I've witnessed kids driving fast, there is the potential for those accidents to happen," she said.
The lack of home delivery had affected the couple because they often worked more than 12 hours a day on a dairy farm and kiwifruit orchard and had little time to pick up their mail from the town's post shop.
"It was a safety aspect for her [the postie].

It's just such a shame it's taken so long for all the parties to reach an agreement," Mrs Blythe said.
The neighbours were this week celebrating their "awesome" triumph. "We wouldn't have settled for anything less."
Other speed changes are:
* At Waitao, the stretch of road on Welcome Bay Rd starting from the end of 60kmh limit to 200m west of Waitao Rd will change from 100kmh to 80kmh
* Te Puna: the section of Borell Rd from Te Puna Rd to Paparoa Rd will change from 80kmh to 50kmh
* Pongakawa: Arawa Rd will change from 100kmh to 70kmh
* Katikati: The Marshall Rd 50kmh limit will be extended to the Middlebrook Rd intersection. The current section of Marshall Rd through to Tetley Rd that sits at 100kmh will be changed to 80kmh. Wharawhara Rd from the turnoff of SH2/Baker Rd is to change from 100kmh to 80kmh.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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