The Akaroa Mail. FRIDAY, MAY 12, 1916. AKAROA COUNTY MOTOR BY-LAW.
A fairly full discussion took f.:k at the last meeting of the
Akaroa County Council as the resuh of Mr C. B. Thacker moving a motion in favour of allowing motor cars to travel at night on every Wednesday night of each week on the roads in the County. The motion was vrlthueld pending an opinion
from the Council's solisitors as to whether in their opinion the clauses relating to night travelling would become useless if this liberty were allowed. The question of night travelling has been hotly contested on the Council for several years past and now apparently with the conversion of Mr T. Conway, the motorists have a majority in favour of night travelling, though of course the motion was not put to the test. We know that there still remains a very strong feeling against night travelling, a feeling which caused the by-law first to be made, but since the time the by-law was made great changes have taken place. In the first place the mails and passengers to and from the Peninsula were at that time entirely conveyed by coach and this entailed a good deal of night travelling. Besides that Peninsula horses at that time were entirely unused to seeing anything of motors on the road except a stray visiting car now and thpn. Taking into consideration these fscts the by-law was then i. necessary safeguard. But the conditions have now considerably changed. Peninsula horses have now had the opportunity of passing the mail motor service cars every day in the week for four years and this should have served to make them practically car-fright proof in tihe day time. Considering these facts it eeems only reasonable that night travelling should be given a trial for a: time. For instance if the Coun-i "il were to allow night travelling, for one night a week for say!
ihree months and to appoint some one to see that tins privilege to motorists was not encroacnect upon in the least way we are sure that those who at present are opposing the opening oi the road bitterly ior iiigiiu tfctuic win meet tne nioioribts nan way. At the present time there is no supervision unuer the by-law and it is being m-oken every night in the week. We know that in several of the eastern bays cars are used at night and the horses take absolutely no notice of them. The Council have sadly shirked their, responsibility m strictly carry-1 iug out the by-law with the exception of cars reaching Akaroa alter dark. It seems to us the oy-law should, while in existance, and 'while the danger is existant be strictly adhered to. itia argument that night travelling is not dangerous has somevxaiig in its favour. The fact vii&i, uiere is not such a by-law icolriouing night trartic on roads in any other part of New Zeal|land is undoubtedly true ,but all j the same the necessity for the by-law on the steep Peninsula roads was very necessary when it was made and the County Council protected their horse traffic where other local bodies did not take the bother. The Peninsula roads are badly graded from one end of the Peninsula to the other and half a million pounds would, we believe, be required to make them right. Still t we think that bad roads and all, the time has now arrived when the night travelling could be given a fair trial.
Some of the principal arguments in favour of allowing motors to be on the roads at night are that the motor service provides the only means of travelling by public conveyances and the restriction is a distinct handicap on the general public of the Peninsula. The Addington market was quoted at the Council meeting, and in the winter months the cars running ifrom Addington yards would have to leave Christchurch about 2 p.m. to arrive in Akaroa in the specified time before sunset. Another point is that the night traffic restriction keeps many motorists from spending " the week-end in Akaroa.
If therefore the Council's solicitors consider that one night a week license is going to do away with the by-law as far as night travelling is concerned, then the Council might give night travelling a trial as we suggest above and the result would settle the whole question.
Apart from the by-law a jfCK>d suggestion would be for the Council t<s place lights al dangerous corners on the road when the Lake Coleridge current is available and insist upon all vehicles on the road being lightei la conij>liafic§ with the by-lawr.