Silence bliss' after trucks given temporary re-route


A long-time campaigner for getting heavy trucks off Marine Parade has said the days and early mornings have become "bliss" since a temporary detour has been operating.

And while only in place until the stormwater upgrade in the CBD is completed in early July, Gerard Averous, who runs the Mon Logis guest house, said the detour showed something could be done about removing trucks for good.

"It shows there is a solution - it is already there - it is happening."

The silence, he said, had been "incredible".

The detours from the south to the port through the expressway and George's Drive had been put in place at the beginning of the month as the Marine Parade stretch between Tennyson and Browning St is excavated for the installation of 2m stormwater pipes from the seafront to Hastings St.

However, the downside had been the increased cost of transportation, Sandford Transport manager Paul Johnston said.

He estimated using the George's Drive route, which added an extra 25 minutes to the usual Marine Parade route time, was adding about 12 per cent to running costs.

"And that has to be passed on."

He said the company, like others, was aware the closure was taking place and moved as much as it could before the detour signs went up.

Of the temporary truck-free situation, Mr Averous said he had spoken to other moteliers about "the silence" and since the Marine Parade had been off-limits to trucks there had been no complaints from visitors.

It was a different story before that, he said, citing a string of critiques and comments on the international Trip Advisor website, which draws about 60 million viewers.

"Thundering juggernauts spoil what should be a special experience" one visitor posted.

Another, who stayed at the Nautilus hotel wrote: "When you open doors to the balcony the noise is horrendous with the trucks passing by."

One English tourist who stayed at Te Pania wrote: "The lorry traffic is very noticeable and we had a partially disturbed night's sleep despite getting some earplugs."

Mr Averous said he was delighted the council had begun revitalising the Marine Parade seafront stretch with facilities aimed at attracting family groups and children. Napier City Council regulatory services manager Mike Webster said he had not directly had complaints or concerns from residents in George's Drive, although conceded traffic flows had increased there.

Mr Johnston said that could change over the next 10 days though as two fertiliser ships were due to arrive in Napier.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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