Safety first for heavy vehicle movements in Christchurch

Safety first for heavy vehicle movements in Christchurch

Canterbury

As several hundred trucks a day remove rubble and liquefaction dust from Christchurch CBD, Police will be enforcing all new speed and weight limits.Sergeant Max Newman from the Christchurch Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) says the trucking firms have been doing a great job in cleaning up and assisting during the earthquake."Police would like to see the goodwill from this work continue through ensuring that trucks adhere to the road rules and speed limits around the city. For about three months 300 trucks a day will be making about 1800 trips per day carrying rubble out of the Red Zone. Since the trucks began working in the CBD there have been complaints concerning speed, dust and damage being done to houses as the trucks go past."The earthquake has left many Christchurch roads and bridges in a vulnerable state and to avoid further damage it is necessary to limit vehicle speed and weight around the city. Trucks create strong vibrations in damaged homes where rigidity is destroyed, mimicking aftershocks and causing stress through concerns of more damage. Speed amplifies this effect, besides creating obvious road safety risks," says Mr Newman."Many of our bridges have suffered serious damage and cannot support their design weight without risk of collapse. If this happened it could create serious disruption to traffic and serious safety risks to the public."Civil Defence has put a weight restriction of 3.5 tonnes on heavy vehicles and many of the roads now have a 30km speed limit.Last week between Police, the Road Transport Association of New Zealand (RTANZ), New Zealand Trucking Association, New Zealand Contractors Federation and contracting companies met to discuss the concerns around heavy traffic movement in and out of the CBD.The organisations that attended the meeting agreed to comply with the road safety requirements and Mr Newman says Police will enforce all new speed and weight limits to protect the city's assets and the safety of residents and all road users."It is also important to note that Police are aware of complaints about the poor driving behaviour of non-commercial drivers since the earthquake, including issues with speed, running red lights, using cell phones and failing to wear seatbelts. Police will focus equal attention on these issues."The Christchurch City Council has specified a route that heavy vehicles should take between the CBD and the Burwood landfill at Bottle Lake Forest. The route is: 

  • Madras Street (return Barbadoes Street)
  • Bealey Avenue
  • Whitmore Street 
  • Hills Road 
  • Akaroa Street 
  • Marshlands Road 
  • Prestons Road 
  • Landfill Road

Trucks leaving the CBD will take Madras Street north to Bealey Avenue, while those returning to the CBD will turn off Bealey Avenue and head south along Barbadoes Street.Christchurch Media Liaison Team: 027 432 0960 or ChchPoliceMediaLiason@police.govt.nz Public Affairs: 04 460 2986 or 04 474 9482