Produce such as baleage stored in the road corridor can create a number of direct and indirect hazards for motorists. While we live in a rural area and farming activities are an integral part of our district, road safety always has to be the first priority.
Produce stored on the road corridor
Council has placed a blanket ban on the storage of all produce on the road corridor. This is because the storage of produce (such as baleage, logs etc.) on the road corridor is a problem throughout the district. The main problem is the mud and damage caused to the road by tractors frequently accessing the produce. These vehicles backing in and out can also create a direct road safety hazard to other road users. And, in some instances, the produce is being stored so close to the roadside that it is also a direct hazard itself by restricting visibility etc. While it may be safe to use the road corridor in some situations, it is not practical to assess every location.
Road Damage and Danger
This part of the Bylaw aims to deter damage to roads or part of any road. If damage does occur, it enables Council to ensure those responsible are accountable for the costs of fixing the damage. This damage could include a buildup of mud such, or from any other substance or debris which causes damage to the road, a loss of traction for vehicular traffic, or a nuisance to other road users. Other areas of concern include the activities around the vehicle entranceways of business and property owners, which have resulted in damage to the footpath. Unauthorised structures on the road reserve such as retaining walls and large fences are also a concern - please talk with Council staff before undertaking any such work. Property owners are also responsible for the costs of rectifying problems where trees or vegetation on their property are found to be creating damage or danger on the adjacent road. The process for dealing with such issues is outlined below.
Three-Stage Enforcement Process
Council has adopted the following three-stage enforcement process for dealing with a wide range of roading issues. Please note that for significant road safety hazards, stage three will be immediately implemented and works will be passed on to a contractor with resulting costs passed on to the owner/operator.
Stage One, Verbal: When an issue is identified and inspected onsite by our roading staff and warrants further action, the first approach to the owner or operator will be verbal. This will include discussion of the issue and a brochure such as this one will be left explaining the provisions of the roading bylaw and what the next steps will be if the problem isn’t resolved. It should be noted that for any maintenance work on the road reserve a traffic management plan must be obtained.
Stage Two, Written: If the issue isn’t resolved in a timely manner, a follow-up written warning letter will be sent. This will reiterate the provisions of the Roading Bylaw or relevant legislation and will specify a timeframe for rectifying the issue. If the issue is still not rectified within the specified timeframe, Council will undertake remedial work and pass the cost on to the owner or operator. The timeframe will depend on the degree of the safety hazard.
Stage Three, Council Remedial Works: As a last resort, we will arrange to have the work undertaken to fix any damage and/or remove any hazards from the road reserve. The cost of this will be recovered from the owner/operator plus a margin of 10% to cover Council administration and inspection costs.
The full Roading Bylaw, is available online here or from your nearest Council office or Service Centre. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our staff to discuss further. Please call 03 419 0200 or 0800 801 350 during office hours.