Follow-up safety checks on Wellington buses are being carried
out by police and transport inspectors today and tomorrow to
ensure a range of serious faults uncovered earlier this year
have been addressed.
Police and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will
conduct the checks outside peak times and on vehicles not
carrying passengers to minimise travel disruption.
The operation comes after inspections carried out in May,
which resulted in 11 of Go Wellington's yellow buses being
removed from service after more than 100 significant safety
faults were found on its fleet.
These included oil leaks in the engine area "a potential fire
risk" as well as carbon monoxide fumes entering buses, and
faults with emergency exits.
The checks came after the NZTA and police focused on
activities of City Transport Limited, owned by NZ Bus Limited
and operating under the trading name of Go Wellington.
Results of the inspections, from April 16 this year to May 9,
were published on the NZTA website after a request was made
by a member of the public under the Official Information Act.
The NZTA today said the follow-up checks are to ensure the
safety of the travelling public.
"Bus companies have the ultimate responsibility to ensure
their vehicles remain in a roadworthy and safe condition at
all times, and police and the Transport Agency will be
following up over the next 48 hours to ensure this is the
case," said Kate Styles, NZTA regional manager for access and
"Police and ... road safety partner agencies have been
working closely with bus operators, including New Zealand Bus
which runs most of the services in the Wellington region, to
ensure they understand what is required of them if they want
to continue to operate.
"They in turn have given assurances that the serious problems
identified earlier in year have been rectified and police
Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) and Transport
Agency inspectors will be checking to make sure this has
Senior Sergeant Willie Roy of the CVIU said it was hoped
there would be as little disruption as possible to normal bus
services - but it would ultimately depend on the action taken
by the operators to fix the problems previously identified.
"To ensure as little disruption to the public as possible,
the operation is being run outside of peak hours, targeting
buses not carrying passengers," he said.
"However, bus operators should be on notice that if serious
safety faults are detected, then action will be taken, as
ensuring public safety is our top priority."
Mr Roy said inspectors would be carrying out the spot checks
of buses throughout the region today and tomorrow to ensure
compliance - with a particular focus on fumes, fire hazards
and emergency exits.