Quake battle to street fight

IMPACT: Mark Wilson battled his insurance company for earthquake payouts and faces new city council traffic planes near his new home in Warrington St. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

After a six-year battle with his insurance company over earthquake repairs, Mark Wilson is getting ready for another fight.

This time over city council plans to add extra lanes on Barbadoes, Forfar and Madras Sts.

The south-bound lanes are part of a wider $17 million city council plan to negate the impact of the extra 30 per cent of traffic from the Northern Corridor on Cranford St.

But the Warrington St resident said the “ill-conceived project” will simply encourage an “unprecedented” number of vehicles to divert down Berwick and Warrington Sts.

“We’ve got concerns about the amount of traffic, the number of traffic lights, the lack of detail around the plans for the third lanes, the loss of on-street parking that could severely compromise businesses, pollution, vibration, noise, I could go on.”

It comes after a six-year battle for Mr Wilson that started when the February 22, 2011, earthquake “buggered” the foundations of his home.

“I was told the foundations didn’t need to be replaced. I fought EQC to go over cap,
then I fought the insurance company to give us decent
compensation.”

He said a file was even lodged in court, but before a hearing date could be set he, and the insurance company, came to an agreement.

“It’s was an expensive process, not only through lawyers’ fees, but also just in terms of time,” Mr Wilson said.

During the saga, his was demolished and the rebuild isn’t quite finished – there is still landscaping and a deck to complete.

“But I’m just not sure what to do at this point. It’s all tainted by what’s going on. How much money should I put into this if the traffic ramps up. Do you just cut your losses?”

However, he and a group of about 30 other residents are not going to back down. There are a lot of elderly people and renters in the area he said also need representation.

“The council said its only a plan, but as far as I can see there’s just one option . . . it’s like we need to accept this, that it’s a fait accompli . . . but we’re not,” he said.

The group has started an online petition, which has attracted more than 70 signatures.

•To sign the petition, go to www.change.org/p/christchurch-city-council-don-t-funnel-traffic-through-our-communities

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