Green light for bigger trucks on Nelson roads

BILL MOORE
Last updated 13:00 22/02/2013

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The Nelson City Council plans to open up many roads in Tahunanui and Stoke for the new generation of heavier trucks - but not without questions around the level of public consultation.

The Government has allowed the introduction of longer, heavier trucks known as high-productivity motor vehicles to improve transport industry productivity. They are allowed on state highways and the New Zealand Transport Agency processes all applications for the extra length.

However, local authorities have to grant approval for the extra weight on local roads, which has implications for wear and tear and infrastructure such as bridges, culverts and roundabouts.

At yesterday's council infrastructure meeting councillors approved HPMV routes for a long list of roads and sections of roads in and around the Tahunanui and Stoke industrial areas at the request of the transport sector, which it had sought submissions from.

It did the same for Bolt Rd from Golf Haven Way to Parkers Rd, Saxton Rd from Main Rd Stoke to Nayland Rd and Parkers Rd from Bolt Rd to State Highway 6 but subject to "satisfactory public engagement with residents along the route". These sections of road are partly residential.

Council policy adviser Paul Harrington said the recommended approvals would not put more trucks on Nelson roads. "This is to increase the payload on existing trucks. Operators are using the HPMV vehicles on the roads, but they're not fully loaded."

A recent presentation from the logging industry to the Nelson Regional Transport Committee said the new heavier vehicles would mean 23 per cent fewer trucks on roads approved for HPMVs.

Deputy mayor Ali Boswijk said wider use of trucks could "cause a bit of consternation" and asked what the council officers had in mind as "satisfactory public engagement".

Mr Harrington said consultation was not required but it had been felt it would be wise to at least consult with residents along the routes. He could not say if the reaction might lead to a change in any of the recommendations.

". . . these trucks are already on the roads, and if they fill them up it will reduce the amount of trips that they take."

Councillors then had a long discussion about whether future decisions on approving new routes for HPMVs could be delegated to its strategy and planning manager, subject to conditions including consideration of the impact on cyclists, pedestrians and schools and satisfactory consultation with residents where appropriate.

They also had a lengthy debate on whether or not the advisory body, the regional land transport committee, should be involved in the consultation process, or if this would cause undue delays.

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They eventually voted to delegate the authority with decisions to be reported back to the council. There was a division called for on an amendment to the motion, that the regional land transport committee be informed in the engagement process that the council undertakes with the community.

For: Crs Ian Barker, Ruth Copeland, Paul Matheson, Eric Davy, Jeff Rackley, and the Mayor, Aldo Miccio. Against: Crs Rachel Reese, Derek Shaw, Mike Ward and Gail Collingwood. Abstention: Cr Kate Fulton. Absent: Cr Boswijk and Cr Pete Rainey.

WHERE THE TRUCKS CAN GO Quarantine Road (State Highway 6 to Bolt Rd) Bolt Rd (Quarantine Rd to Golf Haven Way) Rotheram St (all) Beatty St (south-western extent to 50 Beatty St) Pascoe St (Parkers Rd to Orion St) Orion St (all) Bullen St (all) Salisbury Rd Extension (all) Main Rd Stoke Salisbury Rd Extension to northern boundary of 910 Main Rd Stoke (Alliance) Echodale Pl, Nayland Rd to south eastern boundary of 4 Echodale Pl (Nayland truck stop) Elms St (Main Rd Stoke to Kotua Pl) Kotua Pl (all)

Approved subject to satisfactory public engagement with residents along the route: Bolt Rd (Golf Haven Way to Parkers Rd) Saxton Rd (Main Rd Stoke to Nayland Rd) Approved subject to satisfactory structural assessments: Main Rd Stoke (Alliance to Saxton Rd) Pascoe St (Quarantine Rd to Orion St) Approved subject to satisfactory public engagement with residents along the route and a satisfactory structural assessment: Parkers Rd (Bolt Rd to State Highway 6)

- The Nelson Mail

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