Home > News > Archive > 29th March 2007

Signage battle goes online

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
Dave Owen
TE AWAMUTU ONLINE webmaster Dave Owen is placing images of Transit signs onto a map of the region to show how they mislead the travelling public. Pictured on screen right is one of the worst culprits according to motorists, the sign on the intersection of Kahikatea Drive and Ohaupo Road which often sees Te Awamutu bound drivers making the mistake of following State Highway 1 and heading towards Cambridge. 088071AD

By Dean Taylor

Wavelength Media owners Dave Owen and Ange Holt read with interest Tuesday’s front page of the Courier about problems finding Te Awamutu using Transit signage - they have been monitoring the issue via their website.

The couple run and maintain www.teawamutu.co.nz - our local website about all things Te Awamutu and host of the online Te Awamutu Courier.

Completely separately from work being undertaken by Te Awamutu Public Relations and Te Awamutu Community Board to address the issue of poor State Highway signage, the couple have been also logging complaints about the issue received via the website.

Mr Owen sent a link to a page he has posted on the site with anecdotal stories from people trying to find the town and ending up mainly in Cambridge, but some giving up completely, plus stories from local people bemoaning their guests struggling to find our town.

Members of the public are welcome to view the site, which now has a link from the Te Awamutu homepage.

Quotes include:

“I would like to apologise to all the people I disappointed by not showing up for the meeting. Unfortunately I became lost in Hamilton when trying to find Te Awamutu and ended up south of Cambridge. By the time I found Te Awamutu the meeting was over.”
“After leaving Auckland Hospital late at night I travelled south to stay with family in Te Awamutu. I thought it would be easy enough to find but there aren’t any signs in Hamilton to tell you how to get there.”
“Could you please ask your local council to do something about the lack of signposts for Te Awamutu. I spent about two hours trying to find your town.”
“Yet again we have had a guest speaker arrive very late after getting lost. Even when they use a map they get lost because they assume there will be signposts in Hamilton showing the correct turnoff. If they are traveling alone they can’t consult their map at every intersection.”

Mr Owen pointed out very similar issues to the presentation presented by Te Awamutu Public Relations, notably that signs in Kihikihi can direct travellers to Putaruru but not Te Awamutu, the airport turnoff is confusing and, worst, signage through Hamilton is completely misleading, especially the Ohaupo Road and Kahikatea Drive intersection.

In their presentation, Public Relations included images of all State Highway signs on the four major routes into the town. Mr Owen is using those images and attaching them to a map of the area to show how misleading they are proving.

Particularly galling to everyone interested in seeing this problem solved is Transit’s policy of using ‘destinations’ on their signage, meaning travellers to Te Awamutu from the north are supposed to know it is on the way to New Plymouth. They say it is much simpler surely for people to know that to get to New Plymouth, you travel from Hamilton, to Te Awamutu, to Te Kuiti then head down the coast.

Members of the public are invited to join the fight and submit their stories to help build a further case to present to Transit and to hopefully increase interest from the Fair Go team so they will run an item.

Your stories can be emailed to office@wavelength.co.nz or posted to Dean Taylor, C/- PO Box 1, Te Awamutu.

Everywhere but...

Note: The web pages referred to above can be found here.