Making hedges and roads a happy combination
It’s that time of year again.
Shadows cast from hedges create wet and icy roads as the sun and light struggles to get through and dry the surfaces.
Road Safety Coordinator at Hurunui District Council, Dean Eades said if roads are wet or icy, please drive to the conditions, avoid sudden braking or sharp turning movements, and smooth and gentle accelerating and braking are all good habits to form.
“And remember to keep a safe travelling distance, as it takes longer to stop on slippery roads.”
He added that responsibility lies not just with drivers to be aware of the conditions, but also with landowners maintaining their current hedges and shelter belts and choosing where to position any future plantings.
Being responsible about shelterbelt management is also a key aspect to keeping safe during the cooler months, which means the owners have a responsibility to keep hedges well maintained and ensure they don’t protrude out into the road space.
HDC wishes to work with landowners to sort out any potential problems before they eventuate. Therefore, addressing the issue of trees shading roads at the time of planting could save extra work in the long term.
There is plenty of help and advice available at the HDC, by ringing 03 3148 816 or looking at this link on the website; https://www.hurunui.govt.nz/roading-water/transpor...
Under the Transit New Zealand Act 1989, section 55-57, HDC could require trees to be pruned or removed if they are deemed too dangerous, for example if they are not allowing sunlight onto the road between 10am and 2pm. HDC could do the work itself and charge landowners for the costs involved.
“It’s important to consider where to plant a shelterbelt or hedge, so that it doesn’t impact on nearby roads through excessive shading. This helps to ensure everyone keeps as safe as they can on our roads”