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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Farm track is now like 'Colombo St'

Farm track is now like 'Colombo St'

Last updated 17:59 16/06/2011
Clifton Hill residents are getting by on goodwill as the earthquake claims the only road in and out of their suburb.

Clifton Tce is usually the sole access to the area, which sits just above Sumner beach, but the base of the road is off limits while road works crews clear it of debris brought down in Monday's aftershocks.

That may have left residents stranded but local couple Ken and Bev Loader have opened up their private road, allowing residents a supply line.

Their property at the top of the hill backed on to public land and an old track ran between the two, connecting Clifton Hill to Summit Rd.

Contractors were upgrading the road to allow all traffic on what was previously a four-wheel drive-only route.

Ken Loader did not think twice when the Christchurch City Council asked for access.

"We're very glad that we can make the road access available," he said.

"It's normally closed to the public but it's become like Colombo St through here. Or at least how Colombo St used to be."

Loader said he had been "directing traffic" and acting as guide for some of Clifton's more disoriented residents.

"There's the odd people who live on the hill who have never been up this far."

Revelation Dr resident Daphne Manderson said the Loaders had been "absolutely wonderful" in agreeing to the thoroughfare, even if she was a reluctant user of the road.

"I haven't been off the hill yet. I'm not that keen and I'm not keen to be coming back from work at night when it's dark but I'll have to use it so I'll be using it.

When people did venture down walking tracks for supplies they were sure to help the hill's many elderly residents, she said.

"It's getting supplies in and if we lose water [again] it's getting down to get water and bring it up for a lot of people that can't get down."

Her neighbour Julie Densem said the road was passable "as long as you go slowly and keep your wits about you."

"I used to drive ski roads and it's better than a ski road but if you're not used to it it's quite frightening. It's really just a farm track."

Densem used the track for the first time on Wednesday when she became "desperate for a shower."

The road was built by the army during World War Two as an access road to be used during a Japanese invasion.

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