James Patterson from the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Industry says sacrifices will be needed.
James Patterson from the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Industry says sacrifices will be needed.

Chamber surveying bridge options

GRAFTON residents might have to make some sacrifices if the city is to get a much-needed second bridge, claims the city’s chamber of commerce and industry.

The chamber’s executive officer James Patterson said the chamber had become worried that its position had become confused with a group led by Grafton real estate agent Kim Dahl that was opposed to RTA options that would site bridge approaches in Dovedale.

“We’ve had a couple of things said in the public arena that the businesses are against the bridge, so we thought it was wise to clarify the chamber’s position,” Mr Patterson said.

He said there was some confusion that Mr Dahl was speaking for businesses generally, and the chamber had received feedback from people asking if that was the chamber’s position. He said there was no suggestion that Mr Dahl had ever claimed to represent the chamber.

“The chamber’s position is that the proposal will be decided through the consultation process,” Mr Patterson said.

“Ultimately any proposal is going to affect somebody, and ultimately as the town grows and expands somebody’s going to be affected as well.

“We want to make sure that everyone is given the full process and the right to be part of that process.”

Mr Patterson said the business chamber was not supporting any particular option put forward in the most-recent RTA consultation process.

“It’s got to be in line with the growth and the future of Grafton, whatever the decision is made,” he said.

Mr Patterson said the successful options were going to be the ones that offloaded the traffic most successfully from the bridge.

He said that some chamber members in the consultation process had suggested large roundabouts similar to those in Britain, which could ease the traffic into surrounding streets rather than just having a single path off the bridge.

“I think realistically we’ve got to look at ways that meet the needs of Grafton trying to reduce the impact and keep the amenity of the area, and I don’t think that option’s been found,” Mr Patterson said.

“There’s a lot more consultation to take place before that process happens.”



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