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Published: 2002-03-18 00:00:00

Coromandel’s roading problems need to be included on the Region’s list of priorities to get action, a workshop in Coromandel has decided.

Environment Waikato hosted the workshop last week, which focused on growing concerns about adequate roading, forestry and transport issues on the peninsular and along the Thames coast road. It was attended by about 50 people including MP Jeanette Fitzsimons, representatives of residents, forestry companies, police, Thames Coromandel District Council and community board, Transit, Transfund, road management consultants, transport operators, agricultural and mussel industry representatives and bus operators.

The workshop agreed that all parties needed to work together for an improved transport solution.

Environment Waikato Councillor Evan penny, who chaired the meeting, said the workshop discussed the worsening problem of large vehicles mixing with private cars on narrow, winding roads.

Cr Penny said there was no advantage to the district in setting up a contest between forestry logging operators and residents, or between heavy vehicle operators and tourist traffic. However it was evident that the present road funding system was not working.

“Reacting to problems only once they are acute is a recipe for waiting for people to die on our roads before funding the money to remove obvious problems,” he said.

Workshop participants heard about proposed Government changes to road funding and processes for setting regional priorities. Regional Land Transport Committee Chairman David Peart said the challenge for the immediate future was to get the Coromandel’s road funding problems onto a regional priority list.

“The rapid growth in the volume of all kinds of traffic, particularly people towing trailers and boats, tourist buses and cyclists is clearly creating problems.”

Environment Waikato staff are preparing a report on the key issues raised at the workshop to be circulated to all who attended.