December 10, 2021 at 1:40 pm #37345EddiebKeymaster
- Town/City: Tauranga
- Bike: BMW R100GS
Topics Created: 1,535
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A section of beach on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington is being used as a road.
Wayne Wootton says the beach between Peka Peka where he lives, and Te Horo, is used as a shortcut, when there is congestion on State Highway 1.
And local councillor Jocelyn Prvanov? says she regularly sees cars and motorbikes using long sections of the beach, despite motorcycles and cars being banned from most areas of the beach.
The Kapiti Coast District Council recently introduced new rules about vehicles on beaches but Prvanov said the rules were hard to enforce and did not go far enough.
Wootton was worried he would be bowled over by a motorbike or a car when he walked on the beach and said he should not be worried about his safety.
As well as motorbikes, quad bikes, cars and utes, he also had to dodge sand yachts and said the beach was never empty.
He recently watched a mother and daughter try to ride a horse on the beach but they gave up after the horse was spooked by motorbikes.
“These guys were roaring around them, and they just gave up and put it (the horse) back on the float.”
Prvanov said the issue was emotive with some people arguing it was their right to drive on a beach.
She would like to see the council do more to block access to the beach and to protect sensitive sand dunes.
Council environmental standards manager Jacquie Muir said there was 40 kilometres of coast to patrol and dangerous driving was an issue for the police to address.
“If people have concerns about people driving on the beach, they should call the police (*555) who can issue fines of $150. Police regularly patrol the beaches but also can’t be everywhere at once.”
The council recently updated the relevant by-law and over summer council staff would be looking to enforce rules around cars and motorbikes. The by-law prohibits cars from most parts of the beach and motorcycles are banned entirely.
“These restrictions are about safety – we all have the right to enjoy the beach and be safe doing so.”
Muir was disappointed to see pictures of the damage being done by motorbikes to the Peka Peka dunes.
“Sand dunes are unique features of our natural and cultural heritage and a vital protective barrier between homes and the ocean. They are easily damaged by people, animals, and vehicles. Motorbikes are particularly dangerous and damaging, so it is incredibly disappointing when people behave so selfishly and recklessly.”
Wootton said he had seen riders ripping up the dunes on motorbikes, including areas where locals had been planting natives to try and restore the dunes.
What the rules say about Kapiti beaches
- Driving is prohibited on most parts of the beach.
- The exceptions are: vehicles launching or retrieving boats in an authorised boat launching area, land yachts/blokarts in an authorised area, emergency and law enforcement vehicles, lifesaving vehicles and council vehicles on official business
- Motorbikes are banned from all beach areas.
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