First sadness then outrage

Just this week another horror, another statistic on SH2

It was a haunting accident scene – a vehicle wedged beneath the cab of a big transporter and both engulfed in flames. And another statistic, another life lost to the notorious SH2 between Tauranga and Katikati.

It’s against this tragic background that protestors will stop traffic at the Wairoa Bridge mid-afternoon this Sunday, September 16 to press for an upgrade of SH2 – they’ll be crying out for dual carriageways and a median to stop the accidents; to stop the deaths.

“I was consumed by sadness yet again – that was my first reaction when I heard about Monday evening’s smash,” says Andrew Hollis, a key player in the ‘Fix the Bloody Road’ group. “Then I felt outrage that it has got this far, that so many people are dying on this road. It’s always horrible and social media goes crazy.”

Through the group, Andrew claims to have his finger on a lot of pulses these days. And he says the way he felt about the latest accident was exactly how the community felt about it. Sadness and outrage.

Andrew and his group will have at least 500 people on the Wairoa Bridge Sunday afternoon at 3pm. “But after 200 people turned out to last Sunday’s meeting to outline the protest plans, I would like a whole lot more than 500 because our support base is a lot bigger than that.”

By blocking the bridge to motorists on a busy Sunday afternoon, isn’t the ‘Fix the Bloody Road’ group in danger of alienating the very people whose interests they are working for, and wanting support from?

“That was a big deal to us,” says Andrew. “Because we are protesting SH2 specifically we needed to protest on the road at some point. We decided on a Sunday because people tend to make voluntary trips rather than compulsory work journeys.”

And they’re heavily publicising the event so people can adjust their travel plans. They also have professional traffic management on hand so emergency vehicles can get across the bridge during the protest. “Minimise the inconvenience and maximise the publicity for people to make other plans on a day when it should be easy to do.”

Later on Sunday afternoon the SH2 issue will come under the gaze of the politicians. A public meeting to discuss SH2 will be held at the Omokoroa Settlers Hall from 4.30pm. It’s been organised by Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller and National transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross.

“This is New Zealand’s deadliest stretch of state highway, yet somehow it doesn’t seem to be a priority for the government,” says Todd. “How many more accidents do we need to see?”

The MP says the community has waited patiently for this road for many years, and just as work was about to commence Labour pulled the plug.


13 Comments

Twyford is to blame

Posted on 15-09-2018 23:34 | By Bay Citizen

It’s a bit disingenuous to blame Todd and the previous National government for doing nothing since 2009. Sure, we’d have liked them to have upgraded the road earlier, but they DID greenlight the Northern Link in 2016, and construction would have been underway NOW if Twyford the twit hadn’t postponed / cancelled the project. He’s so indecisive, we STILL don’t know if this road will go ahead. National also decided to go ahead with 4 laning all the way to Katikati last year which absolutely needs to go happen. Yes, stupid drivers are at fault, but the road just cannot cope with the volume of traffic now. Why should drivers on one of the main arterial routes in the country be forced to crawl behind tractors and campervans with scarcely any places to pass them?

Driver

Posted on 15-09-2018 17:43 | By Dog owner

Having lived in NZ for 13 years, coming from the uk the standard of driving in NZ is very bad , I lived in the country in the uk ,with narrow lanes that can just let 2 cars pass ,(on a wide section that is) so courtesy was a very important part of driving which I believe we lack in NZ, i feel blame lies with the driving learner instruction

Driver error

Posted on 15-09-2018 16:41 | By Kenworthlogger

I drive this piece of road daily in a 58 ton monster and find there is absolutely nothing wrong with this piece of road. I don’t find this road dangerous at all. Its just another piece of road...Its the impatient Kiwi car drivers that are the problem. They are literally dying to get past the truck and risk life and limb by doing so dangerously. Drive to the conditions people and be patient towards heavy vehicles otherwise it could be you in this picture.....

Politicking as always Todd!!

Posted on 15-09-2018 14:50 | By Bruja

YOUR government did NOTHING for nine YEARS and yet you disgracefully use this importnant issue to lay the blame at the feet of this current government. Despicable frankly, a disgrace and to continually verbally kick the very people who can actually DO something (YOU can’t) is utterly counter-productive. Yes, the road needs some work and I have already witnessed good changes since the election, as I have also seen one roads all around the district and over in the Waikato. MOSTLY however, the fault lies with lunatic drivers. Insane passing with no clear visibility, tail-gating, cellphone use, all three mostly done by motorists in cars/4x4s etc. However, truckies are also to blame. Truck and trailer units thundering along, racing downhill toward narrow bridges etc etc. EVERYONE, SLOW DOWN!!!!! Chillout, be patient, SLOW DOWN!!!!!

No Solutions

Posted on 15-09-2018 12:08 | By Your_Joking_right?

Your like a bunch of petulant children who want the "best toy". How about offering some solutions rather than demanding a road that shifts the issues...ummm...further up the road.Here are some ideas for you. 1) reduce congestion by putting all Akl bound trucks over the Kaimais 2) bring back free school bus service 3)Reduce speed limit to 80K 4) Put trains on between Apata and the strand during peak time 5) increase police patrols - this extra cost will be off-set by ticketing illegal trucks and speeding drivers im sure.

I assume from the photo

Posted on 15-09-2018 11:32 | By nerak

that there is a car wedged under the front of the truck, similar words in opening sentence. Andrew, I would like to know how this tragedy is due to a bad road. Dumbkof2, you are bang on. No road, good or bad, will prevent poor driving.

outrageous

Posted on 15-09-2018 11:17 | By Kancho

I am sympathetic to the terrible loss of life and the road may need some work along with driver improvements but I am vehemently against blocking an important road to inconvenience people who need to use the road. How dare block a road to make political points and cost people time and money. Potest as much as you like but lobby the government some other ways democratically . I think you are breaking the law and I’m astounded that the police are being so mealy mouthed and ineffective.

not the road

Posted on 15-09-2018 11:01 | By Rob 36

People need to stop going on about the road and concentrate on their driving. If you bother to check the cause of "crashes" you will find most are the result of driver error, due to lack of concentration. Eg: tired, drunk, drugged, eating food, loud music, on phone, changing tapes etc, speeding, lack of basic skills. There are many more but seems it is easier to blame the road, and don’t forget the more money on roads, the more you pay for fuel.

road

Posted on 15-09-2018 10:13 | By mlangdon

Yes Todd your Govt did nothing mover the past 9 years to fix this road and many others, and as well as mentioned above it is NOT the road it is the drivers, if it is a dangerous road SLOW DOWN stay on your own side of the road, the medium barriers proposed by this Govt will hopefully assist in stopping all the deaths, this ’fix’ will be done way quicker (and cheaper) than creating a 4 lane highway which would take many years to complete. There are many other years in and around NZ which need ’fixing’ which have been ignored over the past decade, putting in medium barriers and side barriers will certainly help reduce the accident and death rate but stupid drivers will still of course crash into those but hopefully only injure themselves.

Not the road

Posted on 15-09-2018 09:56 | By mez

It’s the drivers not the road, people need to concentrate on their driving without distractions.

Not the road

Posted on 15-09-2018 09:56 | By mez

It’s the drivers not the road, people need to concentrate on their driving without distractions.

wont work

Posted on 15-09-2018 08:10 | By dumbkof2

protest all you like and inconvenience people. it wont stop idiot drivers from doing stupid things. get off your phones, slow down, stop tailgating, stay one your side of the road,drive to the conditions and keep your mind on your driving

You

Posted on 15-09-2018 08:09 | By Merlin

Todd you did not fix it over the nine years in Government easy to bleat now.Should have got something actually started on the road when you were in power not after the election.

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Opinion Poll

Does SH2, between Tauranga and Katikati, need upgrading or do you believe the crashes are a result of driver error?

Yes the road needs upgrading
Not the road is fine, drivers need to pay attention to what they are doing
Both, the road needs upgrading and drivers to pay attention to their driving

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