Rail 030/11

Status: Closed
Recommendation Date: 
16 December 2011
Recipient Name: 
NZTA
Date Closed: 
5 April 2017
Text:
The distance between the compulsory stop line and the rail corridor at the Beach Road level crossing at Paekakariki is 10.5 m. The bus involved in this accident was 12.6 m long. Many other buses and various configurations of trucks are longer than 10.5 m. This means that when one of these long vehicles stops at the stop sign (as it is required to do) the back of the vehicle will foul the rail corridor and be at risk of being struck by a train. Technically then, any such vehicles intending to turn right to State Highway 1 cannot comply with the road rules when using this level crossing. Any long vehicle would be at risk of being struck by a train when waiting at the stop sign for a break in the traffic travelling on State Highway 1. Additionally, there is no signage at the level crossing warning drivers of long vehicles that there is only a 10.5 m stacking distance.

The Commission recommends to the Chief Executive of the NZ Transport Agency that as a matter of urgency he address this safety issue.
Reply Text:
The stacking distance issue applying to right turning traffic exiting/entering Beach Road from State Highway One [one] is acknowledged. However a solution to this is problematic.

Restriction of turning movements out of Beach Road is not favoured by the Kapiti Coast District Council. However, the prohibition of right turns out of Hill Road would simplify movements at the intersection and might aid right turns out of Beach Road. This option will be investigated further.

Installation of traffic signals is a high cost option requiring land acquisition. Although this is favoured by the Kapiti Road District Council, it has the potential to impose significant delays on the State Highway resulting in queuing and the potential to increase the collision risk. The current crash record at the intersection is low and it is likely that this option would increase it.

Further to the above, the NZ Transport Agency has been advised by the Greater Wellington Regional Council that it [the Council] is considering the mandating of shorter buses at the Beach Road level crossing.
Related Investigation(s):