Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Road closure procedure to be reviewed

28 May 2014 | NZ Transport Agency - Southern Region

Road closure procedure to be reviewed

The NZ Transport Agency is to work with the police, its contractors and civil defence to review its procedures for road closures along the Kaikoura Coast following the stranding of motorists on State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura at Easter.

Representatives from the organisations met in Kaikoura yesterday to review events and look at ways to improve procedures to prevent a similar situation happening.

The Transport Agency’s Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says it was unfortunate that motorists became caught between slips on the highway at the start of the Easter break. “It was not an ideal situation and one we try to avoid by ensuring our highways are closed before conditions deteriorate to the extent where motorists are stranded.

“However, with this event, there was a deluge of rain late evening which resulted in extensive flooding and a number of slips along a significant stretch of the highway, stranding a number of vehicles overnight.”

He says the Transport Agency will work with the organisations involved to look at the road closure procedures and whether there needs to be any changes to ensure an appropriate balance between safety and access.

“It is important we get this right to ensure both the safety of motorists and also our contractors and police, who worked in difficult conditions on the night with up to 30mm of rain falling an hour in the area when the highway became impassable.”

He noted that in hindsight, it had been recognised that the highway should have been closed earlier.

Mr Knaggs says yesterday’s meeting acknowledged conditions were made worse with the loss of communications at about 11pm that night, making it difficult to get messages out about the state of the highway.

“We are going to look at how we can improve communications when presented with such conditions and also what we can do to keep motorists better informed about what is happening on the highway.”

Work is also to be done to see if there are other ways to get better early warnings that severe weather is on its way. “There was a storm warning for the country but what happened on the Kaikoura Coast was significantly worse than forecast and it did catch everyone off guard.”

At the meeting, the group acknowledged the support from the local community in assisting travellers, providing food and shelter.

The Transport Agency is also to review how it can ensure that motorists better understand the meaning of road conditions to make informed decisions about when to travel or stay at home.

Mr Knaggs says while every effort will be made to improve procedures, in reality, events like what happened at Easter, will continue to happen from time-to-time and sometimes there will be nothing that can be done to prevent it.

“What we are doing is working to minimise the risk for everyone.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news