With truckies driving long hours yet are required to adhere to strict rules around having adequate rest it is more than understandable that some like a bit of convenience in their sleeping arrangements.
A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Greg Sheehan from Taupo who told me about an article that had been written in the Taupo and Turangi “Weekender”. The article displays a full front page editorial and photo about the recently introduced truck parking restrictions along the lakefront.
The parking restrictions came about due to complaints from a local resident claiming that the coming and going of trucks causes him to lose sleep. The complaints led to restrictions being placed on lake front truck parking with specific truck parking being provided on Kaimanawa St and Rifle Range Road.
Despite the resident’s complaints and calls for trucks to be banned from the area, truck parking has been allocated with consideration by the local mayor, David Trewavas, who is sympathetic to the drivers and local moteliers. Thus, these stops were allocated in a location that is only a short walk from the motels.
Greg points out that night time deliveries are crucial for Taupo since it has become quite the bustling town, it has all the amenities of a city with large retail and supermarket chains now in town. These rely on night time deliveries from trucks to keep the town going.
So, just remember that when you are parking up in Taupo let’s show what good considerate people we are and park in the allocated parking, even if you have parked on the lake front for the past 50 years. And for those members of the publc that show dissent against the presence of trucks in Taupo Greg says they should remember that “the only thing not delivered by trucks are babies”.
Takaka Repairs Continue
Repair work on the Takaka Hill highway, State Highway 60, between Riwaka and Golden Bay has gone well in recent days. “Crews have been making good progress while the weather has been dry, clearing the road and making it safer and more resilient, which will enable truck and trailer units to make the journey soon,” says Frank Porter, NZ Transport Agency System Manager.
“We know that freight providers and farmers need these truck and trailer units to get across the hill efficiently and that the single trucks’ restriction is adding to costs.”
Although there is no confirmed date at this stage for opening up the highway to trucks with trailer units, and over-dimension vehicles, the Transport Agency is hopeful it could be in two weeks’ time.
“Thanks to everyone for being patient while we work to get Takaka Hill repaired and safe for everyone to use again,” says Mr Porter.
Opening hours - same open hours continue this week
Currently the road open hours are Monday to Saturday inclusive, mornings and nights only, 7-8 am and 5-6 pm. People are encouraged to arrive as close to 7 am and 5 pm to reduce their waiting time and get through as quickly as possible.
On Sundays, people can travel by convoy all day 8 am to 5 pm as the crews have a day off repairs.
- People should expect to be part of large convoys and to have to wait to get over the hill.
- People towing caravans, trailers and boats can get over the hill at the end of each day in the last evening convoy in each direction (5-6 pm). On Sundays, they should be at the waiting area from 4 pm.
- Otherwise the restrictions remain in place for rigid trucks only, with no trailers or over-dimension vehicles allowed on Takaka Hill currently.
- The road is not generally suitable for motorcyclists in wet conditions, when it will be very slippery, particularly for those on road touring bikes with standard tyres. Motorcyclists will need to take extreme care.
Extending the open hours – soon
The Transport Agency is aiming to offer extended opening hours in coming days ie earlier in the morning and later in the evenings. This will allow more traffic to travel over the hill, but still allow the same time for crews to repair the road during the day.
The Transport Agency will communicate any changes to people as soon as they are confirmed and the Traffic and Travel page information (external link)will also be updated.
Easter opening hours - open each day, all day
- The Takaka Hill road will be open 8am – 5pm all of Easter, Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive.
- The Thursday night (29 March) opening from 5 pm is likely to be extended to later so that people know they can travel to/from Golden Bay for their holiday break without the need to rush.
After Easter hours and access - Tuesday, 3 April onwards
The Transport Agency is aiming to open up the road to be used normally, without convoys, outside of the daytime construction work, ie outside of 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, including overnight. “Repairs will be ongoing for some time and they cannot be undertaken safely or efficiently while there is traffic on the road,” says Mr Porter.
This planned timetable to move beyond the convoy system is dependent on good weather in coming weeks, he says.
Try not to make up time, arrive on time for least delays
Frank Porter reiterated the need for people to take care once they are beyond Takaka Hill and not speed up to make up time. “We have had reports from our crews that some people are not driving to the speed limits once they are over the hill. Please, get home safely, and drive to the conditions.”Mr Porter also reminded drivers that crews are unable to give priority to some people in the queue over others. “We will work to get everyone waiting over, and our crews are there to get people over as quickly as is safely possible. If it is urgent, arrive on time.