Saturday, 19 March 2011

LETTER: The Northern Motorway

LETTER: The Northern Motorway

From Simon Williams, Christchurch

I enjoyed Peter Dowden's story about the one-time motorway and
specially enjoyed the NZTA explanation, which made no sense to me at all.

I spent a lot of my youth at Doctors Point in the 1950s and 60s. When I
was very small we used to grind over the Mount Cargill road in the
family's series E Morris 8. Car sickness was ever present.Then we got
The Motorway around 1952. Yes I too loved the big signs. So official and
important. And the magnificent overbridges for the farmers.The small,
underpowered and by the early '50s, old, Morris, did not manage the
motorway well at all. As a growing boy I suffered the embarrassment of
everything passing us on the long and steep slopes. Sometimes the
willing little car's petrol pump would cease, requiring my mother to
bash the battery box under the dash (it worked), to kick the pump into
life again. Not good days at all.

I have always imagined the road was designated a motorway because
building it on the unstable land demanded the higher level of funding
that a motorway attracted. Of course it must have suited Dunedin's sense
of pride to have a North Motorway, even if it was two lanes only. I
remember hearing that there were plans to four-lane it, but that may not
have been right.

Anyway, as I raced over the motorway (we'll always call it that won't
we?) a number of times over the past week or so, cresting the summit at
100km/h, I remembered that poor little Morris, but also my Uncle's 1955
Chev. I was in the middle of the bench front seat once when uncle,
showing off his new car, did 80 miles an hour down the big dip. Not a
seatbelt in sight.

I think Blueskin News is a credit to you and the obviously vibrant
community there.

Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
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