Delivering safety and fairness to farmers
KiwiRail has launched a new policy that will deliver safe outcomes and be fair to farmers and others with private crossings Group General Manager Investment, Planning and Risk David Gordon says.
"We want to make sure that the public and our people go home at the end of the day.
"To do that, we need to know where people are crossing our tracks, and we need to ensure they are doing it safely.
"That means we need to have a formal, legal record of all crossings, and we need to know that they are up to standard in areas such as the approach to the crossing, sight lines, signs and formation.
"There are about 1300 private crossings along the rail network in New Zealand.
"We estimate approximately 700 of those are undocumented or unauthorised.
"We have developed our policy after discussions with Federated Farmers and other interested parties and we want to make clear that KiwiRail is seeking only to recover its costs from this project.
"There will now be no set annual fee as was proposed two years ago. Instead, most farmers will be charged only the actual cost of the inspection of any crossings on their land.
"That is estimated at $50 to $100 per crossing, with inspections every two years.
"Farmers will be responsible for the cost of any work needed make sure the crossing is safe to use.
"This generally includes the removal of vegetation to ensure adequate view lines paying to maintain the road/track surface, and any other works required to meet current safety standards and prevent damage to the railway.
"The costs for this work will vary.
"We've worked hard to develop a policy that is fair, and which is also safe. We look forward to working with farmers and others so that they can cross our railway lines safely," says Mr Gordon.