Northland Transport Expert Raises Safety Concerns Over Logging Trucks on Brynderwyns Detour Route

A Northland transport expert raises safety concerns over empty logging trucks using the Cove Rd detour route during the Brynderwyns closure, despite restrictions in place. Authorities have refused to enforce laws, allowing trucks to illegally use the route, posing potential safety risks.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Northland Transport Expert Raises Safety Concerns Over Logging Trucks on Brynderwyns Detour Route

Northland Transport Expert Raises Safety Concerns Over Logging Trucks on Brynderwyns Detour Route

A Northland transport expert with 40 years of driving experience has expressed safety concerns over empty logging trucks using the Cove Rd detour route via Mangawhai during the Brynderwyns closure. The expert, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims that large, double-stacked logging trucks frequently use the route, which is meant for light vehicles, despite restrictions in place.

Why this matters: The safety concerns raised by the transport expert highlight the potential risks to public safety and the importance of enforcing traffic regulations to prevent accidents. If left unchecked, the continued use of the detour route by heavy logging trucks could lead to serious accidents and fatalities.

The Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA) and Whangārei District Council (WDC) have confirmed that logging trucks carrying their trailers "under piggyback" are not considered in breach of the restrictions. The restrictions, approved by Whangārei and Kaipara district councils, ban truck and trailer units from using the Cove Rd detour route during the closure.

Trucks up to 50 tonnes are allowed on Oakleigh-Paparoa Rd, while high-productivity motor vehicles (HPMV) must use SH12 and SH14 through Dargaville. The anonymous transport expert has witnessed an oversized truck being escorted with a pilot vehicle on the route, which is not permitted.

"They whack trailers on the back of their truck, go round the Paparoa way to Marsden Point, drop off the logs, put the trailer on the back of the truck and use Cove Rd to head south again," the expert said. "It's really bloody scary when you're coming around the corners, those vehicles are so huge. I don't know how there haven't been crashes, there's a huge amount of vehicles on the road."

The Brynderwyns closure currently has no reopening date due to recent slips. The restrictions on Cove and Gorge roads are for "truck with trailer" units only and do not restrict truck-only units. Authorities have refused to enforce laws put in place, despite trucks illegally using Cove Rd, including one that became stuck on a hairpin bend blocking both lanes.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) contractors man the checkpoints, but can only pass on bylaw information and turn traffic around if they don't comply. Both police and WDC have the authority to enforce the bylaw. The transport expert's concerns highlight the potential safety risks posed by large logging trucks navigating the narrow, winding Cove Rd route, which was not designed for such heavy vehicles.

Key Takeaways

  • Northland transport expert raises safety concerns over empty logging trucks using Cove Rd detour.
  • Restrictions ban truck and trailer units, but logging trucks with trailers "under piggyback" are allowed.
  • Trucks up to 50 tonnes allowed on Oakleigh-Paparoa Rd, HPMV must use SH12 and SH14.
  • Authorities not enforcing laws, despite trucks illegally using Cove Rd, including one getting stuck.
  • Narrow Cove Rd route poses safety risks for large logging trucks, not designed for heavy vehicles.