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Slow Down, Save Tyres On Wainui Hill Road

NEWS RELEASE
from Hutt City Council

6 November 2001

Slow Down, Save Tyres On Wainui Hill Road

The four year, $3 million project to resurface the Wainuiomata Hill Road with calcined bauxite has dramatically improved road safety on this previous 'black spot', says Bruce Sherlock, Manager, Street Services.

"In March 1997, the first calcined bauxite patch was laid on the worst accident area on the hill. There has been only one reported accident on that site since then," said Bruce Sherlock.

"There were 27 'loss of control' crashes in 1999. It is estimated there will be nine such crashes for the whole of 2001 - a 66 per cent drop."

The same calcined bauxite surfacing led to a 98 per cent reduction in the number of accidents at one of New Zealand's worst black spots on State Highway 2 beneath the Petone overbridge.

In a survey conducted by new Hutt City councillor Julie Sylvester in October 2001, (reported by Wainuiomata News) 72 per cent of residents thought the money spent on the new surfacing was money well spent.

Council has received one complaint that the new surfacing was causing excessive wear on tyres.

Council sought the opinion of South Pacific Tyres, one of the two largest manufacturers of tyres in New Zealand, and which also has a technical department that provides advice to groups such as Transit, OSH, and the Land Transport Safety Authority.

South Pacific's response was that, far from causing excessive tyre wear, the greater grip of the new surface meant that those drivers who drove within the conditions could, in fact, expect tyre wear to be reduced.

However, they also noted that "drivers often take advantage of the friction co-efficient [better grip] and increase their cornering speed," in which case the higher friction surface could result in significantly increased tyre wear.

Drivers should always drive for the conditions and 80km/h (reduced from 100km/h in 1997) is the maximum permitted speed. "Some corners on the hill road have signage recommending speeds lower than this, as they cannot be safely taken at the speed limit."

"My advice to motorists who may be finding that they are suffering increased tyre wear would simply be 'slow down.'"

ENDS

For further information please contact: Kirk MacGibbon Communications Manager Hutt City Council 04-570 6940 Email: kirk.macgibbon@huttcity.govt.nz

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