Failed planning

In regards to traffic lights on roundabouts: Ye gods! Tauranga's council supports NZTA on the placement of lights on the roundabout at Barkes Corner (News, June 11). Uncommon in NZ, examples of that system's failure is in the UK, where drivers experience the chaos caused by such a traffic management system. In essence, my view is that the need for such an abomination is an acknowledgement that the city planners have failed to keep infrastructural development in sync with population increases and urban development. Blaming the motorist is a poor attempt at deflecting the underlying issue of an aged city road design failing to keep up with population increases. We became a city in 1963 and since then, Tauranga's population has increased a massive seven times. Getting better bus and cycleway options is laudable but only a partial answer to Tauranga's congestion woes. There is no turning the clock back. Immediate action is possible – for example, Cameron Rd has plenty of room for four car lanes and a cycleway. Roadside parking along Cameron Rd is luxurious, but not a ratepayer responsibility, and its removal an easy additional option to enhance traffic flow. The city traffic planning committee needs a change of attitude: Enhanced road networks do not increase car usage – increased population does.
Richard Cross
Pyes Pa

Oil high risk

The recent oil spill highlights the ever-present threat to our environment from this high-risk industry. An industry that we need to transition away from, especially as future exploration becomes more challenging. I am grateful the New Zealand Government is sending a clear message to the industry with its move to ban future block offers, although not including Taranaki is clearly a mistake. This oil spill should also serve as a reminder that throughout Taranaki, fracking for oil is widespread. This somewhat stealthy method of oil exploration has been banned in many countries because of its extremely harmful effects on the environment, especially water quality. It's high time the same ban is enacted here. All New Zealanders should play a part in the transition away from oil by reducing consumption of plastics and fuel. It's not that hard and is empowering to do so.
Yours sincerely
Liz Palmer