Focus on the Land
Positive on HPMVs but concern still
Saturday, August 18, 2012
AN assessment of the health and safety implications of the new High Performance Motor Vehicles will be part of a deliberative meeting on heavy traffic routes later this year.
Acting NZ Transport Agency state highways manager Gordon Hart said he was delighted that the report on HPMVs — presented to the regional transport committee this week by Rob Quigley of Quigley and Watts — had not found any negative aspects on shifting loadings to HPMV vehicles.
There had been no negative effects in Hawke’s Bay when they were introduced there. He welcomed the assessment and getting this information out in the open.
Cycling Group representative Bev Muir said there were challenges for cyclists in Ormond Road with the separation from traffic, and she hoped that had been taken into account. She believed more training was needed for drivers.
Mr Quigley said the perceived safety risk of large trucks was not likely to be reduced by the HPMVs.
People generally could not tell the difference between a 49-tonne and 60-tonne truck.
Deputy Mayor Nona Aston was concerned at the ability of roundabouts to take these new trucks. Mr Quigley said roundabout modifications would be needed while Mr Hart said the HPMV vehicles actually tracked better.
Mrs Aston also said the vibration in Awapuni Road was already heavy. It was hard for disabled people, who could not move quickly to retrieve an object.
Councillor Manu Caddie said when he visited friends in Awapuni Road, they could not hear themselves talk at times.
Councillor Allan Hall was concerned at the visibility for drivers at roundabouts.
As the coroner, he had dealt with a case in which a young cyclist was killed at a roundabout. It was not the fault of the driver, whose visibility was obscured
Mr Caddie said it was misleading to say there would be fewer trips by the HPMV vehicles if the logging harvest would double or even treble.
Roger Haisman said he doubted the projected increase in logging traffic. The roads in Hawke’s Bay were different to the ones the HPMV vehicles would travel on in Gisborne.
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