SHARE
Orari's Opuha St East resident Rob Veenings has watched numerous motorists do u-turns outside his gate daily, many of whom were directed to the road incorrectly by their GPS systems. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

A short, dead-end road in rural South Canterbury is confusing up to six motorists a day.

Orari’s Opuha St East resident Rob Veenings has watched numerous motorists do U-turns outside his gate daily, many of them incorrectly directed to the road by their GPS systems.

As reported by The Courier last week, the road was among those incorrectly marked on some navigation systems.

Opuha St East, which is referred to as Opuha St by Google, appears as one road on the system’s map, but is in fact divided by a railway line only pedestrians can cross.

To access the other end of the street on the other side of the railway tracks, motorists must take an alternative route.

Mr Veenings said the road had been blocked off for about seven years.

“I get five or six [vehicles] up here a day, easy, [including] campervans turning around after driving past the Geraldine turn-off.”

He believed that turn-off – at Orari Station Rd – should be restricted to 50kmh so people would not miss the turn-off from State Highway 1. It is an 80kmh zone.

“There should also be double yellow lines from the 80kmh [area] to the passing lane,” he said.

“I’ve actually been very lucky there hasn’t been an accident down here.”

He said tourists’ lack of knowledge about New Zealand road rules was his main concern.

“But what can they do about it? I don’t know.”

Mr Veenings has placed signs at the entrance to Opuha St East, one alerting motorists to a dead end, another to say the road was not suitable for trucks and one to inform people that the road does not provide access to Orari Nursery.

Instead, the nursery could be accessed on the adjoining stretch of Opuha St, something he has had to explain to motorists time and time again.

Despite his efforts to inform motorists, drivers still took the road, particularly in camper vans.

“It’s funny. It can be quite comical.”

South Canterbury road safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude has made submissions to Google, alerting the company to the various issues with its mapping system of South Canterbury.

He encouraged anyone with other concerns over the GPS mapping of the district to let him know so he could pass them on.

To contact Mr Naude with other South Canterbury GPS mapping issues email daniel.naude@timdc.govt.nz or phone (03) 687-7235.