Petition to stop changes on main thoroughfare

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: Warrington St resident Mark Wilson with the petition against the Cranford St upgrades, which has gained more than 2000 signatures.

More than 2000 signatures have been collected in a bid to stop proposed changes in and around Cranford St.

Warrington St residents Mark Wilson and Jason Harvey spoke to local residents and gathered signatures as they felt the city council and Papanui-Innes Community Board weren’t listening to their pleas.

The changes, which would coincide with the Northern Corridor opening, included creating a clearway on Cranford St, intersection upgrades to Warrington, Forfar and Barbadoes Sts, and the three-laning of Forfar, Madras and Barbadoes Sts.

“The proposal overall is just crazy, but one of the overriding concerns is the fact that the council doesn’t listen,” Mr Wilson said. “It’s been forced on residents in the area. It’s basically just to help people from other areas come in and drive through our community and do nothing for our community at all . . . it makes your blood boil a little bit.”

“It seems like the council is listening to contractors and caring about financial interests more than the people that they’re supposed to represent,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Harvey said he was surprised to find that out of more than 400 submissions on the plan, two-thirds supported the proposal.

“We thought that’s pretty stink really because our feeling from being in the community and talking to people was that people thought it was a dumb idea.”

He said an increased amount of cars driving through residential streets could pose a risk to children and elderly people in the area.

“The whole thing is not good for kids travelling on their bikes to school and to the park. And [elderly people] are concerned about being able to walk around and get across the road safely.”

The pair plan to present their petition to the city council if the community board approves the proposal. Community board chairwoman Ali Jones said she could not comment on the petition at this stage, but she was open to hearing how the community felt about the issue.

“The opportunity for the community to feedback and engage with the council and the community board is really important on this and any issue that concerns people living
and working in our wards,” she said.

“The council is consulting much more than they are required to, which has to be a positive for everyone.”