Road noise spurs petition

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A trio of Evans St residents say loud trucks and boy racers are disturbing the peace along their Timaru road, and they have more than 300 signatures to back it up.
Tony Christie and John and Juliebeth Doak will present a petition to the Timaru District Council meeting on October 4, suggesting the council create a bylaw with a no-cruising jurisdiction from Waimataitai St through to Sefton St East.
However, the council’s land transport manager says there is no evidence a bylaw will help the situation.
Mr Christie and Mr Doak have been walking the streets of Timaru for the past few months collecting signatures for the petition which states:
‘‘We, the undersigned, petition the Timaru District Council and the Timaru police take notice that residents and visitors to Timaru have had enough of cars driven by irresponsible drivers whose vehicles are fitted with exhausts that emit hard acceleration noise which disturbs the peace and quiet of our neighbourhood.’’
The men say through collecting the signatures, residents have told them how the noise from boy racers and trucks, especially at night, has kept them awake, that drivers put their foot down to ‘‘roar north and south up the hills making an unbearable racket’’ and that truck drivers drive too fast along the stretch of road in the middle of the night.
‘‘This problem should be of concern and notice taken, as this has an effect on our tourist trade and the economy of our city,’’ Mr Doak, who has the lease for Parklands Motor Lodge, in Evans St, said.
‘‘These people just don’t think about the people trying to sleep,’’ Mr Doak said.
Mr Christie said the problem was particularly bad on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
‘‘These young louts drive fast cars up and down the road and congregate at the park [by Briscoes] and toot at other cars,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s not pleasant hearing the exhausts.’’
The men said after 1am was usually when the noise got louder.
‘‘We feel this sort of thing is controllable and we think the police and the council should be monitoring [it].’’
Mr Doak and his wife have run the motor lodge since November last year and say they were made aware of the noise issue before taking over the lease.
‘‘We get a lot of complaints. It’s not good for the business,’’ Mr Doak said.
He had spoken to other motel owners in the area who were frustrated with the issue, but felt nothing could be done about it.
‘‘We know that we’re on a main road and can expect noise but we think some of it can be controlled.
‘‘We’re not unhappy about all the traffic. It’s the fact nobody seems to take any responsibility to say to truck firms that the drivers need to be reined in.’’
He offers guests earplugs when they stay in rooms closest to the road.
Mr Christie said they were not criticising the council or the police.
‘‘There are just a lot of people that are sick of boy racers and truck noise. We want to get that out to the public.’’
Timaru District Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said he had been made aware of the petition.
‘‘A bylaw can be created but its effectiveness can be doubtful,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s more an education issue and about driver behaviour.’’
Bylaws could also be difficult to enforce.
Senior Constable Alister Doonan, of Timaru, said Evans St was often the source of complaints in regards to noise.
Trucks using the road when fertiliser boats were at the port usually meant an increase in complaints, too, he said.
He believed boy racer issues were well policed in Timaru.