A Whanganui East resident is challenging the view that traffic congestion at the Dublin St Bridge is a recent problem and says the suburb is being "deprived".
Elizabeth Stiles-Dawe said although traffic delays on both sides of the century-old bridge may have been exacerbated by Whanganui's recent population growth, she believes the problems have existed for much longer.
Stiles-Dawe made a submission to Whanganui District Council's long-term plan hearings this week and said "because of the problems with the bridge, large sections of Whanganui East are deprived of access to the central business district".
"Buses, emergency vehicles, and trucks have not been able to use the Dublin Street Bridge for more than a decade and are restricted to using the fragile Anzac Parade," she said.
Stiles-Dawe suggested councillors were guilty of nimbyism (an acronym for Not in My Back Yard) because they all live on the west side of the bridge.
Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said he had lived in Whanganui East and pointed out that it was Whanganui's largest suburb.
"I have lived in Whanganui East and councillor Brent Crossan lives in Whanganui East so you're not alone," he said.
Stiles-Dawe said residents on the east side of the river were constantly compromised by traffic problems that limit access to services and public transport.
"Our rates are as good as yours but our access to the CBD and essential services are severely hampered by the bottleneck at the bottom of Jones St.
"There has to be an alternative crossing somewhere upstream."
Stiles-Dawe said a new bridge upriver would provide alternate access to SH3 - especially for logging trucks that currently use the city and Anzac Parade to reach the rail head at Salisbury Ave.
McDouall said the council had scheduled the Dublin St Bridge into the long-term plan but said he was not going to "gild the lily" by offering a short-term solution.
The council has provided $310,000 across first three years of the plan to begin discussion and start planning the process.
There is a provision of $50m in the budget and the council is assuming the cost will be 60 per cent subsidised by Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency.
The mayor said it was likely to be 10 years before construction would be completed.
"And 10 years is probably how long it will take if you want to cross the bridge between 8 and 9 in the morning," Stiles-Dawe said.