Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Greater use of grade separation on rail crossings needed

Greater use of grade separation on rail crossings needed

The union for rail workers says that greater use of grade separation such as over bridges or underpasses are needed to properly protect pedestrians from rail accidents.

This morning KiwiRail released its findings on an accident at the Morningside pedestrian level crossing in Auckland, in which a woman using a wheelchair was seriously injured after she was hit by a train.

“Most importantly we want to express our ongoing sympathy for the woman who suffered such a horrific incident, and commend the two others who ran to her assistance on that morning,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

“Level crossings of all types are high stress points for rail staff operating rail locomotives and vehicles. Nobody comes to work wanting to kill or seriously injure another human being. We need to learn from this incident and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“In our view, the best decision that could be made is for full grade separation, such as over bridges or underpasses, to remove the risk inherent in crossing designs that force pedestrian interaction with trains which have no ability to stop at short notice.”

“Morningside has no grade separation and remains a poor design.”

Staff cuts at KiwiRail’s Infrastructure and Engineering division last year were terribly short-sighted, with the Wellington and Auckland metro areas suffering severe job cuts, Wayne Butson said.

“We were deeply concerned then, and still are, about the impact on safety and performance from the budget and staffing cuts to Infrastructure and Engineering. KiwiRail’s own internal business plan stated it would lead to a decline in track standard.”

Wayne Butson said that level crossing design should not be left to rail operators.

“Level crossings should be prescribed by the regulator. That they aren’t is symptomatic of the light handed co-regulatory model which governs the rail industry in New Zealand.”

The systemic failings of KiwiRail’s systems to the track asset database exposed in the released KiwiRail report are illustrative of the legacy of privatisation, Wayne Butson said.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news