NZTA Response to Expressway Noise Concerns

Acknowledgement of a noise problem 

By NZTA Senior Manager, Project Delivery, Chris Hunt.

The sound of vehicles crossing the metal sections across bridges as well as engine brakes are major annoyances at night

The NZ Transport Agency acknowledges that some people living near the expressway are experiencing noise from the road that didn’t previously exist.

We are listening to their concerns and have brought forward noise monitoring work to ensure we are complying with the noise designation conditions.

We are also doing specific monitoring on various sources of road noise e.g truck engine braking, traffic volumes and noisy exhausts. The results of this monitoring will inform any additional steps which might be taken to address any non-compliant noise issues.

Rules on engine breaking

Action group putting up an engine brakes sign at Raumati South on the Kapiti expressway (Stuff photo)

The Land Transport Act limits the Transport Agency’s Authority to create a bylaw to restrict or prohibit engine braking to roads where the speed limit is less than 70 km/h.

Engine brakes are a key safety feature for heavy vehicles, in particular in high-speed environments.

Advisory signs will be considered once we’ve assessed information from engine braking monitoring along the expressway.

Locations for noise cameras to do this have been determined and will be installed from the end of next week.

 

 

There is no restriction to erect signage; NZTA told the Board of Inquiry that signage is the best means of mitigating the noise of engine braking, and the Board stated in its decision that they expected NZTA to do just that. It’s now been 5 months of continuous noise.
Drivers can be prosecuted under the Land Transport Act (road user Rule) 2004 section 7.4 which forbids drivers creating noise that is excessive.
In determining whether any noise is excessive, regard may be had, in addition to all other relevant matters, to—
(a) the manner of operation of the vehicle:
(b) the condition of the vehicle:
(c) the time of the day when the noise is created:
(d) the locality where the noise is created:
(e) the likelihood of annoyance to any person:
(f) any relevant standard or specification that applies under the Act.

Seems pretty clear and easy.