Frequently Asked Questions

Roads, Parking & Transport

Frequently Asked Questions about Roads and Transport

My street is included on the Timaru District Council forward works map. When will the work be completed?

If your street is being resurfaced or reconstructed you should be part of a letterbox-drop prior to work being undertaken. If you have any queries, phone the number on the letter. We endeavour to complete work as effectively and efficiently as possible, therefore if any work takes longer than expected, it is likely that there has been an unknown issue identified following works starting.

Weather has a significant impact on road surfacing and construction activities.

  • The cold weather affects the ability for the chip to stick to the bitumen ("tar")
  • The rain can result in the fresh bitumen running off the surface
  • Adverse hot weather affects the ability for the newly laid surface to cool down, and you may notice some "chip roll-over" where the chip gets black, this generally wears off with usual tyre wear

What disruption can I expect when works are being undertaken on my street?

There may be limited access to and from your driveway while works are being carried out. If you have any special requirements for access to and from your property the contractor can usually accommodate these, if known in advance. You should be part of a letterbox-drop prior to work being undertaken - please contact the number listed on your letter to discuss any special requirements.

Signs, speed restrictions, cones and / or traffic controllers will be used to guide and control road users while work occurs in the area. Please respect these as they are provided not only for the contractors’ safety, but for road users' as well.

Work hours are generally limited from 7am to 7pm, but there may be instances, normally in high traffic volume areas, where Council may approve work to occur outside of these hours. Residents will be notified prior to this occurring.

How does Timaru District Council decide where works are undertaken?

The Timaru District has over 1,700km of roads in total and limited funding to maintain these and build new roads. This means that Council staff and engineers have to carefully prioritise where works are undertaken. The prioritisation process includes assessment of a number of risks and other factors across the whole Timaru District roading network. Some examples of these factors include:

  • Previous maintenance costs;
  • Safety risks; and
  • Vehicle use (type and frequency).

Assessment of these factors helps ensure we are using rate payers’ and tax payers’ dollars effectively and efficiently and maximising the life of our roads. Using the assessments, and giving consideration to our budget, a limited number of roads are marked each year for certain works.

Unfortunately when a road reaches the end of its life, the surface can become rough or uneven. This can be frustrating for road users, however sometimes there are specific reasons why a particular road is not getting any work done. Repairing, reconstructing or rebuilding a road is not always a straightforward process.

For example, Browne Street, Timaru has been left off the road reconstruction list for some years to allow the installation of water and sewer mains prior to reconstructing the road. The delays in reconstruction have been frustrating for the community but digging up a newly constructed road is inefficient, expensive, affects the long term useful life of the road and is not a good use of rate payers’ funds.

My car was damaged because of road works. What do I do?

The temporary speed restrictions in place during and after works are also there to ensure vehicles are not damaged. Driving to the speed restrictions is the best way to prevent vehicle damage. We also recommend you make contact with your insurer.

The contractor has fixed the road but now it has pot-holed again. Why?

In some cases temporary repairs will be made to the roads to keep them accessible until a more permanent work is programmed or undertaken. In the first instance, higher risk sites (such as high vehicle use and high speeds) will be programmed, followed by other sites in a priority order.

Occasionally works undertaken by the contractor may have a quality issue and fail. While this is frustrating the Council has a clear audit process and Council works closely with contractors to remedy this sort of issue. This is called “rework” and is not paid for by Council.

The contractor has fixed the road but now there are loose chip (small stones) left. Why?

Often after a new resurfacing (chip sealing) you will notice loose chip in the area. In the first week of the resurfacing, some chip remains to protect from car tyres removing the new surface. The contractor will programme a sweeper truck to sweep the extra chip up near the end of the first week.

Early in winter as the ground temperature drops sometimes a new seal will lose chip as the bitumen hardens. This is normal and the contractor will do a further sweep of the area.

Drivers are going too fast down my street. Can I have speed humps or judder bars installed?

If you suspect drivers are regularly travelling at unsafe speeds on your street, you can phone Timaru District Council on 03 687 7200 to make a report. The Road Safety Coordinator will review the latest traffic data on your street, or arrange that updated data is collected – this may take a few weeks. Once this data has been reviewed, the Coordinator will make further contact with you to discuss your concerns.

Please note that speed humps or judder bars cannot be installed on certain roads, such as those which carry high traffic volumes or a large number of trucks. In most cases, speed humps or judder bars also increase road noise as vehicles brake or accelerate to go over them.

Can I apply to have the speed limit on my street lowered?

You can contact Timaru District Council on 03 687 7200 to register a customer request to have a speed limit changed. Council has to follow national speed limit changing procedures to make any changes to an existing limit.

I can’t see approaching traffic from my driveway/street. Can I have a convex mirror installed?

If you are concerned about visibility when approaching or exiting a State Highway, you will need to contact Waka Kotahi, the New Zealand Transport Agency on 0800 44 44 49.

If you are concerned about visibility when approaching or exiting a local road, you can contact Timaru District Council on 03 687 7200 to make an application to install mirrors. All applications are assessed on an individual basis, based on a range of factors.

Boy racer activities are causing havoc on our street. Who should I report these to?

In the first instance, phone Police on 111 to report any unsafe activity.

I have a road safety concern on our street. Who should I contact?

  • If your concern is about an emergency or any illegal behaviour, phone Police on 111.
  • If your concern is about driver behaviour, but is not an emergency, phone the South Canterbury Road Safety Coordinator on 03 687 7235 to report.
  • If your concern is about the road itself, or the road reserve, phone Timaru District Council on 03 687 7200, and register a report.

Can I get road safety signage e.g. shared use signs put up on my street?

You can contact Timaru District Council on 03 687 7200 to make a customer request. All applications are assessed on an individual basis, based on a range of factors.

Last updated: 26 Jul 2021