Marine Parade trucks likely to mar new museum's wall

By Roger Moroney

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The constant stream of heavy trucks using Marine Parade will likely change the new Hawke's Bay Museum's walls from white into shades of sooty grey, Labour's Napier spokesman and advocate for removing the trucks, Stuart Nash, says.

"Like many Napier people, I believe the 700-odd trucks a day rumbling along Marine Parade is a bad look for a town promoting itself as a tourist destination," he said, adding that a recent walk along the new museum stretch revealed what he described as an "unintended consequence" of trucks using the coastal strip.

"I ran my fingers over the green builders net put up to keep the public out of the construction site and it was covered in black soot."

He said while trucks continued to be allowed to use Marine Parade the result would be a brand new building which was likely to require its exterior walls and windows cleaned at least once a week to remove truck exhaust soot.

"If it's not cleaned regularly it will look pretty shabby in record time."

Mr Nash said he had no beef with the truck drivers or companies, as they were simply taking the quickest route to Napier Port. "The only way we will get trucks off the Parade is through political will at council level."

He described the situation as a disgrace and could not understand why council had not stepped in, saying be believed interim solutions would not be difficult.

Stopping trucks going down Farndon Rd would eradicate about 60 per cent of movements, while ensuring they travelled down Meeanee Rd and on to the expressway would also clear the air.

Chicanes along the Marine Parade stretch, like those in Ahuriri, would further "dissuade" trucks from taking the seafront route.

The museum would not be the only grubby victim, Mr Nash said.

"I know of one bar owner on the Parade who has to wipe his tables down twice a day when there is a fertiliser boat in port and Ravensdown trucks are running non-stop."

A recent motel review posted on a trip advisory website after a visitor's stay on Marine Parade was also reason for concern, trucking opponents say. The guest said their room was comfortable, the view "beautiful" and the location made access to town and restaurants easy.

"The only downside is that all the trucks travelling to and from Napier Port go along Marine Parade from as early as 6.45 and there is a lot of road noise. We originally booked for five nights but switched to another hotel on our last night so we could have a sleep-in. If you value a lie-in on your holiday, a quieter spot in town or in Ahuriri will be better."

Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott has said there was no easy or overnight fix to the trucks on the Parade issue, but moves were under way.

One of three major projects lined up for the Bay was the construction of an Awatoto link to the expressway. It was in the planning and design phase and the consents process and construction was expected to be finalised within the next three years.

Mrs Arnott said when the links were completed the only trucks on Marine Parade would be those servicing the city itself.

However, Mr Nash said the move could come quicker. "Perhaps when Mayor Barbara sees the impact of the black soot on her fabulous new museum it will prompt the type of action so many of us are hoping for."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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