Small percentage of truck traffic about Lady Wigram Retirement Village

NOISY: Large container trucks on Lodestar Ave in Wigram. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER.

Lady Wigram Retirement Home residents trying to stop trucks rolling through their quiet neighbourhood are unlikely to get the support of the city council.

Halswell Ward city councillor Anne Galloway has told Western News and residents that a bylaw is not likely to solve the problem.

NOISY: Large container trucks on Lodestar Ave in Wigram. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER.

Residents have been lobbying since April when they met with Cr Galloway and Wigram MP Megan Woods asking for a bylaw to stop trucks being allowed to drive through Lodestar Ave.

It is a short cut to work sites in the area and in Selwyn.

Their campaign made international headlines recently when Lady Wigram owner
John Tooby confronted four residents who had put a sign on the rest home’s fence pleading for truck drivers to use another route.

Mr Tooby abused and swore at them and demanded they take the sign down. The tirade was recorded by a Star journalist who was photographing the residents when Mr Tooby arrived.

ANGRY: John Tooby, owner of the $80 million Lady Wigram retirement Village, after abusing a group of elderly tenants, including using the f-word several times and telling them to grow up.

The city council is due to bring in the city-wide Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2017 by the end of the year which will allow restrictions to be placed on streets.

It will include allowing for the banning of vehicles from being parked on the road if they’re advertised for sale, vehicles from parking on berms, and stopping heavy vehicles on certain streets.

But Cr Galloway doubts whether the bylaw will apply to Lodestar Ave. She says speed
is the main issue, not heavy trucks.

Heavy vehicles account for only 1.6 per cent of traffic volume on Lodestar Ave, a report has shown.

“I doubt the new bylaw will be of any use. It seems that speed is the issue and the recommendation is for police to get more involved in monitoring this,” Cr Galloway said.

The traffic and speed count report found an average of 1943 vehicles per day travelled on the road – which is a high volume for a local road.

Data also indicated about 300 vehicles per day travelled at or above 60km/h.

But rest home residents are disappointed.

“I was hoping the traffic people, who know much more about this than I do, could sort it out but it doesn’t seem that way,” one told Western News.

He has asked for anonymity because of the fallout from other residents over the Tooby outburst.

MESSAGE: The Lady Wigram protesting sign was removed from a fence by a residence.

He said trucks rumble past as early as 4.30am, waking them up and causing things to shake.

The report suggested speed humps might help.

But the resident said that would only cause more noise when the trucks went over them.

Cr Galloway said the city council wants people to feel safe walking about their neighbourhood.

“We don’t want elderly folk to feel stressed if they hear people racing outside their residence,” she said.

Wigram MP Megan Woods said she will have to look at the report and speak to Cr Galloway about what they can do.

She said it’s a real issue because unlike most residential streets, the residents are generally home during the working day.

City council traffic engineer Edwin Tiong will ask police to patrol the area more regularly.

Mr Tiong will also conduct another traffic count next year and follow-up with the village management to identify any specific day or time of the week when these issues are more prevalent.