It could take almost 300 years for residents of Ridge Rd Central to have a sealed road if the Tararua District Council adopts its Long Term Plan proposal of sealing half a kilometre of rural roads a year.
That has angered residents and they confronted district councillors on the issue at the Long Term Plan submissions hearing on Tuesday.
"There's a need for our council to prioritise work because they seem to have forgotten farming is the backbone of our district, council is spending too much money in our towns," resident Philip Cotter told councillors.
His wife, Colleen, said Ridge Rd Central ratepayers were very disappointed with the council's proposal.
"I am indignant and angry that the seal extension we have been begging for - for 40 years - is now dependent on us [residents] paying half the cost.
"Are Route 52 residents being asked to pay?"
Next year will be the 100th anniversary of Cotters living on Ridge Rd Central and Colleen suggested Clydesdale horses and carts be used to transport visitors to their property.
"The road looks the same as in 1919 and I'm asking council to seriously consider the sealing extension plan so that it's fair and equitable," she said.
"Option 1 in the Long Term Plan is very, very long term and at half a kilometre a year, we estimate you will have all the district's 773km of unsealed roads sealed by 2385.
"If you seal no other roads in Tararua, except ours, it will be at least five years before we have seal to our gate. We hope we live that long."
There are 24 regular road users on the busiest unsealed section of Ridge Rd Central, as well as large trucks and trailers moving stock and fertiliser.
"We have been making road submissions to council for 40 years and have fallen off at least three Long Term Plans," Colleen said.
Fellow Ridge Rd Central resident Garrick Murfitt has to cope with dust, potholes and corrugations. He believes funding should come from rates and opposes any plan for residents to pay.
"Traffic has increased and turned the road into a disaster," he said.
"Council is spending money on Route 52 catering for logs, above people. People should be what it is about. To take more than 300 years to complete seal extensions, that's abhorrent."
District councillor Ernie Christison said the situation was "horse and cart material".
The way forward:
• Tararua has almost 2000km of roads
• Council is proposing to seal about 1km of unsealed road every two years
• The cost for this will depend on the road characteristics, but estimated at $200,000 a kilometre
• The budget for this will be funded by council ($100,000 every two years by borrowing) and third-party contributions