Most Ashhurst roads are usually quiet, but ever since a slip closed Manawatu Gorge last Monday, traffic has become a problem.

"The traffic, the speed is just ridiculous. They are driving into a 50km zone but they are probably still travelling at 80km per hour," says concerned resident Roz Young.

It is not only the speed of vehicles that has locals concerned, they're also annoyed about the sound of trucks braking as they enter the residential area.

"Every now and again you can wake up and hear this mighty crunch," says Mrs Young.


The New Zealand Transport Agency says they are working with trucking companies to reduce noise, and that the situation is only temporary.

"Saddle Road is an alternative route only for when the Manawatu Gorge closes," says Ross I'Anson, NZTA planning and investment manager.

The Principal of Ashhurst School, which has a role of 440, is worried about the risk of impatient drivers, frustrated by diversions and delays

"It's a 50k area, and in front of the school it's meant to be a 30 km area by the pedestrian crossings. So between those hours, those hot hours of 8.30 to 9 o'clock, and 3 to 3.30, mind your speed."

The school says it's happy with the communication from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

But, it is looking forward to the Manawatu Gorge road reopening in a couple of weeks when the slip has been cleared.

Sieska Verdonk - Local Focus