En­gine brak­ing frus­trates sleepy vil­lage res­i­dents


Res­i­dents of a small north Waikato com­mu­nity are beg­ging truck driv­ers to stop en­gine brak­ing through their sleepy vil­lage.

Richard Brown and Nick Tur­tle are just two Taupiri res­i­dents who are wo­ken in the early hours of the morn­ing from the thun­der­ous sound.

‘‘You don’t get one un­in­ter­rupted sleep,’’ Brown said.

Con­tin­u­ing through­out the day, it’s hard to get any peace, both said.

The is­sue dates back to 2014 when the Waikato Expressway opened, by­pass­ing Ngaru­awahia and di­rect­ing traf­fic through Taupiri.

Speak­ing on be­half of a frus­trated group, Tur­tle and Brown es­ti­mate at least 25 driv­ers a day were caus­ing the noise.

How­ever there is cur­rently no by­law to stop en­gine brak­ing in the area.

The prob­lem area is ei­ther side of the bridge be­tween two round­abouts. All lo­cals want is for the truck driv­ers to show some cour­tesy.

‘‘It’s not about the skills or driv­ing, it’s about con­sid­er­a­tion through a res­i­den­tial area,’’ Brown said.

They said nu­mer­ous com­plaints had been sent over the years to the truck­ing com­pa­nies and the New Zealand Trans­port Agency but the sit­u­a­tion re­mained un­changed.

But now the Taupiri Com­mu­nity Board is get­ting in­volved, and has de­liv­ered forms for lo­cals to log each in­ci­dent which will be sent to NZTA.

Brown said they bought their home two years ago, and knew it wouldn’t be quiet with the con­stant hum of traf­fic. This was on an­other level how­ever as his house ‘‘lit­er­ally shakes.’’

NZTA said Taupiri had been put on the ro­ta­tion ros­ter for one of its noise-de­tec­tion cam­eras. The cam­era is ex­pected to be put in place early next year.

But lo­cals say they are un­sure if it will work. There needed to be other steps taken, in­clud­ing more vis­i­ble signs, they said.

The 70kmh speed limit should also be pushed back to the end of the expressway tak­ing it fur­ther away from the south­bound round- about, Tur­tle said.

He said some truck driv­ers did not slow down upon en­ter­ing that zone which was part of the prob­lem.

If noth­ing changes, the light at the end of the tun­nel is the open­ing of the Huntly by­pass in 2020 which would re-direct most traf­fic.

NZTA cen­tral North Is­land com­pli­ance man­ager Iain Ros­siter said mul­ti­ple re­ports had been filed over the years with three recorded com­plaints in the past 12 months.

He said NZTA has spo­ken to lo­cal truck­ing com­pa­nies and op­er­a­tors when there were mul­ti­ple re­ports. ‘‘The lo­cal in­dus­try have re­acted pos­i­tively to our re­quests and we’d like to thank them for their co-oper­a­tion.’’

How­ever to in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther, the cam­era is set to be in­stalled next year. ‘‘This process has been boosted by the de­vel­op­ment and suc­cess­ful use of noise cam­eras which pro­vide a sound record­ing and a num­ber plate.’’


Taupiri res­i­dents Richard Brown, left, and Nick Tur­tle want truck driv­ers to stop en­gine break­ing when pass­ing through the town.

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