The New Zealand Transport Agency and Dunedin City Council
have had talks with Cadbury staff after being horrified to
learn large trucks were sometimes driving against one-way
traffic to enter the Dunedin factory yard.
Simon Underwood, from the NZTA, and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull
said they were confident their safety concerns would be
addressed by the company after speaking to them last week.
The concerns stem from information gathered during
consultation on improving safety at an intersection near the
exit from the factory, including whether it should be
permanently closed, following the death of a cyclist there in
late 2011. The death was not related to a truck coming from
or going to the Cadbury site.
After a question from Cr Jinty MacTavish, Mr Underwood told a
council committee last week the way the intersection of Anzac
Ave (SH88) and Castle St (SH1) was used by trucks entering
and exiting the factory was a ''curious'' thing the NZTA
learned during the consultation exercise.
Large trucks were crossing traffic to exit from the Cadbury
yard into Anzac Ave and trucks were illegally turning right
into Castle St from Anzac Ave in order to cross to enter the
Council strategy and development general manager Dr Sue
Bidrose told councillors the manoeuvres had been verified
first-hand by two council staff members, one of whom saw a
truck appear out of Anzac Ave in front of her and travel
across, in a slight northerly direction on the south-bound
lanes, to enter the yard, that morning.
Mr Underwood said the manoeuvre was obviously illegal.
''It's clearly against all the road rules what they are
Outraged that this was not raised in a report to councillors
or with Cadbury immediately, Mr Cull proposed councillors
vote to ask the NZTA to engineer changes at the intersection
to prevent trucks from being able to make the manoeuvre.
''As it stands, the motion (an earlier motion taken to make
temporary safety-related changes at the intersection
permanent) is clearly not solving one of the problems, and
seems to be exacerbating one of the problems by allowing for
trucks to cross there.
''We close that issue off by blocking that off.''
Mr Underwood said he was not sure how the agency could design
that manoeuvre out, or if it would want to.
After arguments from councillors, Mr Cull amended his
proposed resolution to ask NZTA to investigate such changes,
but that was voted down by councillors worried about
potential effects on Cadbury's business.
Cr Lee Vandervis, a former truck driver, said things like
this were likely to be happening across the city, as large
trucks negotiated narrow entrances/exits to sites.
''If we imagine we can prevent illegal truck manoeuvres in
the city, we will prevent a lot of business around the city
from going on ... I would strongly suggest this is not a road
you want to go down.''
He suggested other traffic management solutions for trucks
entering and exiting the site be investigated instead.
Crs Andrew Noone and Kate Wilson also said they would rather
see some discussions with Cadbury to find a suitable and safe
Councillors resolved in the end to ask the NZTA to have
urgent discussions with Cadbury about the situation.
Mr Underwood said the agency talked to Cadbury last week, and
was expecting a response from the company soon.
Mr Cull said he met the Cadbury site manager the day after
the council meeting, and was satisfied the company shared the
council's concerns about safety, and was taking the issue
''They want to be a good corporate citizen and we want to be
the facilitators of their business, so clearly there's a
win-win in that.''
A Cadbury spokesman did not return calls.
Dunedin road policing manager Senior Sergeant Phil McDouall
said police had never received a complaint about truck
movements in or out of the factory, but would be keeping an
eye on it.