Cameron Rd changes a “no go” for business owners

Baryride Motorcyles owner Catherine Fleming is worried customers won’t bother to visit if they can’t get a park. Photo: John Borren.

Cameron Road business owners are hugely concerned about proposed changes to the road and how it will affect their ability to trade.

Bernina Sewing Centre Tauranga owner Robyn Curd says she will have to relocate if the planned cul de sac at 5th Ave goes ahead.

Tauranga City Council’s Futureproofing Cameron Road project proposes to change access to some side road intersections from Harrington Street to 17th Ave and create cul de sacs on 5th and 7th Aves. There will also be a cycleway from 15th Ave to Harington Street and on-peak bus lanes on either side of the road ending at Elizabeth Street.

If 5th Ave is closed off from Cameron Road, customers will have to go around the block to access their parking, says Robyn.

“People aren't going to drive all the way around the block to get to a building. They'll just go somewhere else that's convenient,” she says.

“We want our customers to be able to get to us easily. If we lose our customers, we lose our business.”

She holds courses as well as having a retail store and customers need to be able to park close because they bring sewing machines to the classes, she says.

“If I don't have my classes, I don't have a job either.”

Robyn says the cost of relocating would be around $10,000 because the new premises needs to be fitted out as well.

“It's money we don't have.”

Bayride Motorcycles owner Catherine Fleming says the bus lane will negatively impact their business because they need parking during peak hours.

“At the moment we already have customers complaining that they can't always get a park, but with this bus lane they won’t be able to park at all,” says Catherine.

They need parking spaces most during the proposed peak times of 7-9am and 3-6pm because they have customers dropping off bikes first thing in the morning and picking them up at the end of the day, she says.

Catherine has been told by some customers that if they can’t get a park they won’t bother coming in.

Owner Monique Shim says not having peak time parking outside Good Vibes Lunch Bar will lose her business because she has tradesmen stop by early to pick a coffee, pie and quick food.

“We do definitely need that parking.”

Catherine is concerned how it will affect couriers dropping off stock to Bayride because they already double park as it is.

Robyn is also worried how freight vehicles will access the three businesses in their building if the plans go ahead.

Large freight trucks do deliveries every two to three days and they will struggle to manoeuvre in the new layout especially because cars park on both sides of 5th Ave at the moment, she says.

Robyn first heard about the Futureproofing Cameron Road project two weeks ago despite council doing initial engagement in 2018. She has been at the Cameron Road site for six years.

“The fact that we've only just found out, the same time the public found out, is not right.”

Council director of transport Brendan Bisley says council had planned to door knock at affected businesses earlier in March but the change in Covid-19 alert levels prevented this, so instead flyers were sent to tenants and property owners.

He says council has followed up with their mail service provider as to why Bernina Sewing Centre didn’t receive a flyer.

Monique gave council feedback in 2018 saying it is not a good idea to lose parking during peak hours.

In November last year, Catherine and her husband Damian were contacted about the plans and they gave feedback about traffic flow, busy trade times and access for loading goods.

Tauranga City Council Infrastructure general manager Nic Johansson says council has been working with businesses along the stage one stretch of Cameron Road since 2018 to incorporate their feedback and concerns in the design process.

He says based on the proposed changes, there is potential for a net increase in the number of carparks along the route. The offset is possible by creating parking on some side roads, says Nic.

“The number of carparks gained or lost will not be known until community engagement has been completed, and the feedback considered in the final design.”

Nic says no formal decision has been made about the 5th and 7th Ave cul-de-sacs because council is still engaging with the wider community to capture their feedback and concerns.

“We are aware of the potential impacts and are looking at ways to provide safe access for residents, customers, commuters and business owners.”

Brendan Bisley says while there would no longer be vehicle access on and off Cameron Road, pedestrians and those travelling by bike, scooter or mobility device will still be able to freely access 5th Ave and 7th Ave from Cameron Road.

“These changes are designed to improve safety and took into consideration the availability of alternative routes. Road users will be able to use new traffic lights at 6th Ave.”

Nic says, to understand the potential impacts, council will trial some side street closures using temporary traffic management as part of the early works.

Public consultation on the project closes at 5pm on April 10.

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Posted on 06-04-2021 18:53 | By Kancho

Not surprised you got an answer like that. Council staff are there forever. Politicians come and go and they rubber stamp staff plans. Government put up money for green projects but the council staff think up ways to spend it. Greerton a good example of cavalier attitudes. They won’t get it, buses are not the answer for a lot of people. We don’t all go to an office in town and drink latte. For many reasons buses don’t work for me most of the time, nor can I ride a bike. It will be a failure but the entrenched beaurocracts won’t care they are safe as they pass the buck and spout meaningless out of touch theories

Tom Ranger

Posted on 06-04-2021 14:42 | By Tom Ranger

I would suggest these businesses start legal action against them for the soon to be lost business. But it would be us ratepayers that end up paying them. TCC. Stand up to this central idealistic GREENIE govt. Tell them No! If govt money means they need to fulfill certain criteria - like installing more failed road projects. Tell them we aren’t going to need the money.

Leave it alone

Posted on 06-04-2021 13:46 | By First Responder

Don’t touch anything. With the Council track record, you will stuff it, just like the Greerton roundabout, and the less than half hearted attempt on 15th Ave. You would be better off linking 17th onto K route, a roundabout where Cambridge Road meets 29A, or fixing the mess at Greerton. For Hells sake, don’t let any TCC engineer anywhere near Cameron Rd. They’re better off in a sandpit full of Tonka toys

Council attitude

Posted on 05-04-2021 13:18 | By Avman

I was told by Council staff to my face that many people had questioned what they had done at Greerton, and that the people are all wrong, because the works at Greerton are working just as Council wanted them to, incredibly bad for traffic, and that they never wanted motorists to be happy with it. These are the people that are now working on destroying the rest of Cameron Road too. And when it fails, they will jump with joy and again say that all the ratepayers are wrong and stupid.


Posted on 04-04-2021 20:21 | By groutby

....well said, as a resident just imagine how we feel.....every time I visit TCC there are so many more new faces squeezing into the building....never been sure doing quite what exactly?....the payroll cost says it all really.......

Get Real

Posted on 04-04-2021 08:42 | By Ross54

Although not a resident of Tauranga it appears to me that TCC is overloaded with staff who just have to come up with outlandish ideas to justify their being on the city payroll

@ Let's Get Real

Posted on 03-04-2021 22:50 | By Yadick

Well put. Excellent comment.


Posted on 03-04-2021 21:19 | By The Caveman

of Tauranga roads - I would hate to be a property owner on Cameron Road, because I can see the building TENANTS MOVING OUT ASAP (as soon as the leases come up for renewal) WHY - FIVE / SIX / SEVEN years of total KAOS on the street in front of their business - AND NO PARING for their customers . AND what is next - the same as CDB - empty shops / buildings - A DEAD CDB and next CAMERON ROAD !!!!


Posted on 03-04-2021 15:24 | By Let's get real

Council planners (and I use that term in it’s loosest possible way) know full well that if they were to use a Democratic system of polling the ratepayers directly rather than having Public meetings at stupid times of the day, they would be challenged to actually justify the absurdity of their dysfunctional thinking. It is commonly understood that computer modelling is fatally flawed when it comes to human interactions and to think that the CBD and surrounding businesses will flourish without first-class Public access is in indictment on the governance of our city. We have placed too much power in the hands of unelected Council functionaries who seem to have an utopian view of city life built on playing computer modelling games such as the Sims.... Let’s start having some Public input into major Public projects through on-line opinion polls of all ratepayers.

Typical TCC

Posted on 03-04-2021 14:48 | By Yadick

So long as empty buses and cyclists can get through that’s all that matters. Stuff businesses, stuff the city’s economy - the growth of our city is TOTALLY dependent on empty buses and cyclists.

Track record

Posted on 03-04-2021 12:15 | By Kancho

Seems consultation since 2018 hasn’t actually happened uniformly? Blaming covid is only this year . I too am concerned for business owners, access and parking. I can’t see this ending well with everything council think can be included in limited space, it risks pleasing absolutely no one. There was consultation for Greerton village and all that was needed was the original pedestrian crossing tweaked. What we got was time delays, additional costs and a design I have never heard a positive comment for. ..I hope I will be amazed but I fear it’s not going to be good for anyone except maybe a handful of cyclists

cameron rd

Posted on 03-04-2021 10:49 | By dumbkof2

you can complain till the cows come home. TCC will just do what they want to do

Council knows best, yeah right

Posted on 03-04-2021 10:31 | By Womby

I had a business around 6th Ave, Cameron Road years ago and parking was an issue then too. Since then this pandering to cycling and pedestrian traffic has got worse. In winter only a few hardy souls bike on Cameron Road, and even with a cycle lane it is dangerous with all the many side roads and driveways. Even the college kids seldom bike like they used to. I wholeheartedly agree with these three business owners but there are hundreds of businesses that will be forced out of this main street trading scenario. I hope Cameron Road is not smashed by poor council planning with parking and pedestrian ideas just like they did with the central city.

How many ways

Posted on 03-04-2021 10:30 | By treekiwi

and how many more times can council continue to completely screw up access for the people of the city to the businesses of the city, who pay not only these cretin’s wages but the cost of the garbage changes they enforce on us? They killed downtown, they made Greerton impossible to manage and now they want to kill off Cameron Rd, the bit in the middle they hadn’t really screwed up badly...yet.

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