InterCity Coach involved in an incident
22 June 2006
InterCity Coachlines service 6502 involved in an incident – driver and passengers safe
InterCity Coachlines has confirmed that service 6502 which runs between Wellington and Auckland has been involved in a road incident 15km north of Ohakune.
All 35 passengers and the driver are uninjured and have been transferred to Ohakune Police Station. Due to road closures passengers will stay the night in Ohakune. The company is working with local authorities to ensure suitable arrangements are made for passengers.
The service departed from Wellington at 09:00 hours and was due to arrive in Auckland at 20:20 hours. All roads were open when the coach set out, however when it reached Waiouru the Desert Rd was closed and the driver took a detour through the National Park Highway (Highway 4), as is normal practise when the Dessert Rd has been closed.
The incident occurred at low speed when the coach driver took action to avoid a van which appeared to be having difficulty in the icy conditions and the coach slid to the left-hand side of the road. While local police have praised the calm actions of the driver, the incident will be subject to a normal road incident investigation by local police as per standard procedure.
In addition, service 6514 [Malcolm – pls confirm this is correct as I had written 6412 in my notes] from Palmerston North to Auckland via the King Country is currently stationed at Ratahi and is unable to continue or retrace its journey due to road closures. The 26 passengers onboard have been transferred to the local police station and again, InterCity is working with local authorities to ensure suitable arrangements are made.
All other North-South services are being routed through either Hawke’s Bay or New Plymouth.
“InterCity Coachlines operates approximately 6,000 services each winter through the central North Island roads and it is unusual to have passengers unable to complete their journeys due to weather, but two cold snaps in a row have forced a number of simultaneous road closures,” said Malcolm Johns, Chief Executive at InterCity Group.
Nationwide, InterCity Coachlines carries 1.2 million passengers each year and operates 130 daily services to 600 cities and towns.