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A speed hump is being removed from Mount Maunganui's Valley Rd after cracks
started forming on the floors and walls of a new house.
Home owners Evan and Mary Mawson blame the cracks on vibrations from Bay
Hopper buses hitting the speed-friendly hump - called a speed cushion.
Mr Mawson said they would never have bought there had they known the formerly
peaceful street was going to become an arterial route carrying 770 buses a week.
Their predicament had led the Tauranga City Council to agree not to replace the
speed cushion once work had finished on rebuilding the road.
Mr Mawson said the number and size of the buses was having a major impact on
their lives and the lives of other residents.
"I have yet to speak to anyone who is in favour of the current situation."
Prior to the replacement of speed humps with speed cushions last December, heavy
traffic had been reduced to a crawl over the humps. He said the change from humps
to cushions was at the request of Environment Bay of Plenty and the bus company.
It allowed buses to keep to schedule.
"Our house is located by one of the cushions and it now vibrates every time a bus
goes past at speed."
Mr Mawson said Valley Rd was never designed to carry so many heavy vehicles and
it was no longer a pleasant environment to live.
"The mix of so many heavy vehicles, a narrow residential street and children is a
dangerous one. Sooner or later there will be a nasty accident."
He argued there were sensible and better suited alternatives for the buses, namely
Maunganui Rd and Oceanbeach Rd/Marine Parade.
Mr Mawson felt guilty about asking for the speed cushion to be removed but said
they could not afford the continuing damage to their house built 18 months ago.
Early hints of problems were doors sticking and a loose ventilation mounting.
These were followed by a reasonable-sized crack opening up across the width of the
garage floor, hairline cracks appearing in the patio and kitchen ceiling, and a
growing crack where the unit for the oven was coming away from the kitchen wall.
Council transport operations manager Martin Parkes suspected the Mawsons'
house was affected because it was built close to the edge of the footpath, whereas
most homes along Valley Rd were set fairly well back.
"We are trying to deal with their issue as best we can. We want to get it right."
He said Valley Rd was not in particularly good condition and the speed cushion in
front of the Mawsons was being removed as part of works to repair the road and
replace the chip seal with a smooth asphalt seal.
Mr Parkes believed the issue was more about the condition of the road which
carried the vibrations rather than the speed cushion itself. They would review
whether to replace the cushion after the upgrade was finished.