Editorial: Let us know of work on roads

By Craig Cooper

Roadworks caused terrible traffic this week. Photo/Michael Cunningham.
Roadworks caused terrible traffic this week. Photo/Michael Cunningham.

It's a frustrating experience, being stuck in traffic because of roadworks.

Makes you want to do all types of horrible things, although it can be a challenge deducing who to do the horrible things to. In the absence of an obvious target, it's often the local council that cops it.

Even when it's not a council project - such as, for example, the state highway intersection at Maunu.

The roadworks there have delayed motorists several times, and, yesterday, the timing couldn't have been worse, given what happened on Monday over on the other side of Whangarei at Onerahi.

What made Monday worse, was the glorious weather that people who lived on the coast were trying to get home to, to enjoy. Instead, drivers and their passengers became the main ingredients in an angry stew, simmering away inside their pressure cooker cars, the windows down letting the steam out.

I wonder if ratepayers could lodge their cellphone numbers or email addresses with their local councils, who could then advise people via this database in advance of the impending delays.

On Monday night, people were giving up on trying to get home and driving back into Whangarei. I suspect some of the Town Basin and central city food and drink premises had a good Monday, as people sat it out. If we know there are delays coming, it would allow these businesses to advertise and plan ahead of time.

Currently, we tend to approach these occurrences reactively, and people get annoyed.

Perhaps there is an opportunity here to build rapport with ratepayers by providing some information on the front foot, rather than an explanation off the back foot. Even when it's a national - not a local - project. I certainly wouldn't mind a text about an impending delay, regardless of who is holding the shovel.

- Northern Advocate

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