A rural intersection described as an "endless parade of boyracers" will not get the fix some want because Whanganui District Council says it can't be done.

Councillors voted on Tuesday to temporarily drop the speed limit around the intersection of Francis and Rapanui Rds to 80km/h while a permanent drop is looked at.

But the real fight in a more than hour-long debate was over a proposal by deputy mayor Jenny Duncan for a "low profile" engineering solution - such as mini roundabout - to be looked at.

It was voted down 8-3 by councillors after staff advised nothing could be installed because the intersection is on a designated "over dimension truck route" which vehicles - such as house moving trucks - need to be able to move through.


Council's general infrastructure manager, Mark Hughes, said staff had assessed the intersection and "no solution has been identified".

The problem with boyracers at the intersection was brought to the council in March by resident Rachel Stewart who wants a change to the intersection layout to reduce the space for boy racer behaviour.

This week she hosted five councillors who went out to Westmere to have a look at the intersection which Westmere School sits on.

Duncan believed there was no reason a low profile barrier which stopped boyracer behaviour but still allowed trucks to pass was not possible.

The corner of Francis and Rapanui Rds in Westmere is a large sweeping bend.
The corner of Francis and Rapanui Rds in Westmere is a large sweeping bend.

Councillor Graeme Young said there were five other intersections along the over-dimension route which had roundabouts.

"It is possible to do something, so lets not get sucked in to believing it can't be done," he said.

Council's senior roading engineer Rui Leitao said it was a matter of police enforcement and not a council roading.

"We have lots of places with boy racers and it's a police enforcement matter, rather than us trying to engineer and shifting it from one place to another."


And Hughes said staff had tried.

"As Rui (Leitao) has pointed out a couple of times now we have been trying to find a solution - low profile or otherwise - and we haven't been able to identify one."

But Duncan said "there is enough concern in the room that this hasn't been investigated enough and solutions haven't been sought".

"I don't profess to be a roading engineer at all ... but it is clear that something can be done on the margins of the road."

Stewart, who originally raised the issue with council, also "struggled to believe" there was no solution given the council has installed a traffic island in the area last year.

"They obviously saw it as a problem (then) ... so there's precedent," she said.

"They may not have tried hard enough but there is definitely a simple solution to the problem."

Other councillors said staff had to be taken at their word.

"I don't really see the point in having staff in to answer questions if you're not going to accept their answers," Hadleigh Reid said.

"And it's really hard when there is no solutions offered," councillor Helen Craig said.

"Roading engineers and that staff can't always provide magic and we have to respect that as much as we don't like it."

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said other options included talking to police, referring to the matter to Safer Whanganui and considering cameras could be alternative options.