Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

At a public meet­ing held at Katikati the Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges and NZTA of­fi­cials were jeered and booed (re­ported in a lo­cal news­pa­per). The is­sues be­ing dis­cussed were a much needed by­pass and the num­bers of heavy trucks pass­ing through Katikati.

Bridges said that heav­ier (big­ger) trucks meant fewer trucks on the road and that has ‘‘safety ben­e­fits’’ (per­haps it was about this time that the boo­ing and jeer­ing was loud­est). Katikati av­er­ages 750 trucks a day pass­ing through their main street. (Mata­mata av­er­ages 719 trucks a day).

It should be noted that Labour’s Sue Moroney has warned that Gov­ern­ment is propos­ing to al­low even heav­ier and larger trucks than the ‘‘jug­ger­nauts’’ they al­lowed two years ago.

As an al­ter­na­tive route for in­ter-re­gional trucks (re: Auck­land trucks head­ing to Tau­ranga Port) it was sug­gested that truck use the Kaimai/SH29 Route and thus avoid Katikati/SH 2. If trucks do use this route then we in Mata­mata can ex­pect more truck traf­fic on Broad­way. Truck traf­fic is not the sole prob­lem on our lo­cal roads.

The dy­nam­ics of ve­hi­cle num­bers are rapidly chang­ing. An ex­am­ple is that we in NZ have seen a net gain in per­ma­nent and long term ar­rivals in the re­gion of 69000 (and ris­ing) peo­ple in the past year. If about a third of them are now driv­ing mo­tor ve­hi­cles it must be con­tribut­ing to road con­ges­tion. Trucks trav­el­ling in vir­tual con­voys does lit­tle to help.

Two things need to be con­sid­ered. Events in Katikati may im­pact on Mata­mata (more truck traf­fic). Sec­ond, trucks may be about to be­come big­ger/ longer/heav­ier. The Gov­ern­ment will prob­a­bly do it the same way as last time. No fan­fare. The first we will know about it is when the trucks are on the road. Per­haps in the near fu­ture we will see NZ’s ver­sion of the Aussies road trains driv­ing along Broad­way.

-Alan Dowl­ing men­tal­ity of the res­i­dents who dump – anony­mously of course - their de­spi­ca­ble rub­bish at your door every week. It is sur­pris­ing that there is no CCTV sur­veil­lance ‘‘planted’’ in the vicin­ity – would that be coun­cil or po­lice busi­ness? Worth dis­cus­sion, me thinks! Then these dumpers could be iden­ti­fied and dealt with (par­tic­u­larly with the cost).

MP Si­mon Bridges, loves trucks.

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