Transport Agency ‘Steals Silence’

Raumati group says Transport Agency stalling and cheating on Expressway noise 

Stuff photo

The Kapiti Expressway Noise Action Group has accused the Transport Agency (NZTA) of failing to take any action on the high noise levels affecting Raumati residents.

They say the residents who placed signs on the expressway encouraging heavy vehicle drivers to drive quietly are ‘becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of communication and action by NZTA.’

The ‘Please no engine braking’ sign was a copy of the standard NZTA sign, they say.

Monitoring only

Group spokesperson Nick Fisher says “The noise levels are not decreasing, and all NZTA seem to be doing is monitoring .

Banning engine braking by heavy vehicles (a.k.a. Jake brakes and exhaust brakes) is such an easy start, but obviously NZTA

Aerial view of the southern section of the Expressway. Some of the Raumati housing areas are shown in the photo

need help to do this.”

NZTA expert evidence at the Board of Inquiry stated that signage was the best way to mitigate the noise from auxiliary brakes:

135 There are very limited mitigation options that can be applied to the issue of engine braking, the most obvious being the installation of “Engine Brake Restriction” signs. In my opinion, these signs would be a suitable and effective mitigation and management measure for dealing with the noise from engine braking.

Board of Inquiry’s suggestions

The Board, in its decision, stated:[519] ….we encourage NZTA to do so wherever this is practical, although we acknowledge that as a responsible roading authority, NZTA is unlikely to require such a direction.”

Nick Fisher

But Nick Fisher says: “Now NZTA are telling the media that they are not allowed to erect signs as it is a 100km/hr area.

“Why did they mislead the Board of Inquiry? Why have these signs been erected on the 100km/hr Hawkes Bay Expressway?” 

“What is really needed is a commitment from NZTA to finish the expressway, and not to pass on the costs, such as health and quality of life, to the residents. We need more and higher earth bunds, and more and higher walls.

“NZTA have stolen our precious silence. We want it back.”