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

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news