The Timaru District Council is advising rural property owners to be more aware of their responsibilities when it comes to farm entranceways and driveways.
Road user safety is paramount and to ensure this Council bylaws require that all new entranceways have a consent. A part of the requirements is that the entranceways be sealed from the property boundary to the roadway if the entranceway links to a sealed public road.
Council roading engineer Tracy Bell says that gravel and stony entranceways immediately adjacent to sealed roads create hazards and extra maintenance when the aggregate gets dragged on to sealed surfaces by tankers and tractors leaving the farm.
"Stones also cause serious damage to the seal, and once seal starts to pit, weather and traffic exacerbate the process," Mrs Bell said.
"We are not too concerned about a tractor in and out a couple of times a week, but if it's a commercial operation the regulations were important."
The council is planning a campaign to ensure all entranceways are safe and approved.
"But there will be an amnesty period, where property owners can contact the council to learn just what the requirements were," she said.
Those not meeting the standard required would be given 12 months to get their properties compliant.
"It's not commonly known that a consent is required."
Mrs Bell said that providing access to and egress from a rural property was not just a simple matter of knocking a hole in a fence and swinging a gate.
"Entrances and exits need to be planned. Considerations include proximity of trees and hedges that could obscure visibility as well as other road crossings and entrances."
And she said the consents should not be viewed as just another way local government can make revenue.
"There is no charge for an entranceway consent application. Consents are to ensure access to properties does not cause safety issues on a road."
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