A roading upgrade in Te Puke has sparked a battle between residents and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

Rod and Jannine Pearce own Te Puke Jewellers.

They say the removal of six carparks outside the front of their business is unnecessary.

"We've got a lovely walkway that people enjoy sitting in, and eating their lunch. They developed that beautiful area at the back. Why take this humongous area, that was carparking, and turn it into nothing? No one will sit out there."


Mr Pearce says the consultation process has been dire and that the upgrade hasn't improved the CBD.

"We never had traffic jams before, we've got them now. And it isn't even busy yet."

Long-time resident Deborah Holmes says kiwifruit season is upon the town, and changing the roading from two lanes to one is already causing issues.

"The roundabouts are double-laned. So you get people trying to undertake you, to get that one car ahead, which basically just backs everybody else up."

Council Project Manager Peter Clark says the double lane roundabout design is not uncommon in the region, but should not be used for undertaking vehicles.

"When we put it through the model, it showed it wouldn't work with just one lane going through the roundabouts."

Mrs Holmes says the council surveyed vehicle numbers going through the CBD in February, during the quietest month of the year.

Traffic congestion in the next three months could prove damaging to her trucking business.

Mr Clark confirmed to Local Focus that changes can be made to the roading if issues should arise.

"They will run a little bit into the beginning of the kiwifruit season yes. All care will be taken with that, and apologies."

However, Paper Plus Te Puke owner Stuart Gunn is more positive about the change.

"I guess if you go in and are emotional about things, then it's very hard to have a clear-cut conversation. Whereas, if you go in fact-based in your arguments then really, they've been very good to deal with, the engineers in particular."

Mr Gunn says there are car parks behind his business that should make up for the loss of six on the main street.

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