‘Welcome to the ghetto’ – Pages Rd repairs needed

VIDEO: Ashleigh Monk and Geoff Sloan

Pages Rd’s earthquake-damaged footpaths, near the New Brighton bridge, are unlikely to be completely repaired for several years.

The city council last week allocated $30,000 towards repairing 300m of footpath on one side of the road in its draft annual plan.

From Anzac Dr to the Pages Rd bridge, the road and footpaths remain damaged in spite of the rest of Pages Rd being fixed.

New Brighton resident Jo Zervos said $30,000 wasn’t enough.

“That whole piece of road needs doing up. It’s absolutely disgusting. I’m constantly seeing people pushing prams or on motorised wheelchairs trying to negotiate it. People coming out to New Brighton hit that and it’s like ‘welcome to the ghetto’.”

Ms Zervos organised a 450-signature petition last year in a bid to repair the footpaths. However, she did not present the petition to the Coastal-Burwood Community Board.

Ms Zervos said yesterday, she emailed the board about the petition and believed it was their responsibility to take it from there.

Burwood Ward city councillor Glenn Livingstone questioned how safe the footpaths were for the elderly.

“They could trip and fall, break hips, end up in hospital. It doesn’t make sense to have the rest of Pages Rd rebuilt but not this.”

He said the reason the city council wasn’t willing to fix the road completely was because it could need realigning in a few years time, once the Pages Rd bridge was rebuilt. He said the council didn’t want to pay for significant repairs now only to have to pay again once the bridge is rebuilt.

It’s likely the bridge will be shifted further up or down the Avon River once future red zone use has been decided on, requiring the road to be realigned.

However, that is likely to be several years away, with funding for the bridge replacement yet to be awarded.

Cr Livingstone said costs for rebuilding the bridge were estimated at close to $13 million.

Coastal Ward city councillor David East said while any allocation was good, the footpaths were “barely navigable.”

He questioned if the $30,000 was enough to repair the footpath on both sides and improve the appearance of a key entry point to New Brighton.

“It’s important that the image is positive – that section doesn’t convey that. It’s downright scruffy.”

Cr Livingstone said money allocated by the council in the annual plan was not sufficient for what the community wanted. He was unhappy the road would remain in its current state for years to come. “It’s not a good look; this is the gateway to New Brighton.”

The city council’s draft annual plan is now open for community consultation.