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Phoebe Falconer answers your questions about Auckland

Ask Phoebe: Diesel shuttle set to start where electric rail stops

By Phoebe Falconer

4 comments
A spokesman for Auckland Transport says services from Swanson to Waitakere are currently under review. Photo / APN
A spokesman for Auckland Transport says services from Swanson to Waitakere are currently under review. Photo / APN

I see the electrification of the western rail line is progressing well. What concerns me is that it appears to stop at Swanson. What will happen to the service to Waitakere station? Kevin Thomlinson, West Auckland, Ann Ross, Henderson, and David Brookes, Swanson.

A spokesman for Auckland Transport says services from Swanson to Waitakere are currently under review. It is expected that where rail services continue to serve this area after the completion of electrification, there will be a diesel shuttle service between the two stations.

Are there road safety guidelines from Auckland City on the level of light emitted from illuminated roadside signage, or the level of flashing and flicking that some signs are programmed to do? I often travel along Abbotts Way in Remuera in the evening and the lighting from the Caltex station that advertises their petrol pricing is incredibly bright at night.

In the wet weather this is even worse with the reflection on the road and what I would deem to be hazardous for motorists in that it can blind your vision while driving.

The same effect can be had at Glendowie College on Riddell Rd in Glendowie, which uses an illuminated sign to promote school events. This sign can be very bright and the flashing of the messages quite a hazard for traffic emerging from the side street opposite. Jo Noonan, Glendowie.

Mark Hannan, media liaison for Auckland Transport, has provided a very full answer, for which I thank him. He says the Traffic Control Devices (TCD) Manual is the guideline of best practice for road signs and markings. It does not have any legal weight of itself but compliance with it is considered the best option.

The Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004, clause 4.7, however, is law and it states the following about advertising signs (which might not be being breached here).

A sign, hoarding or similar structure used or intended to be used for the purposes of advertising must not contain:

(a) reflective material, if it is likely to reflect the light from the lamps of any vehicle on the road; or

(b) fluorescent or phosphorescent material, if it is likely to mislead or distract drivers from traffic signs installed in the vicinity or mask those signs.

Signs that are not permitted on the basis of the Traffic Control Devices Manual include those that:

a/ could be mistaken for a traffic control device (traffic signal, traffic sign or traffic notice) or use the colours green, amber or red in the proximity of a traffic signal such that it mimics the traffic signal;

b/ contain reflective, fluorescent or phosphorescent materials that may reflect headlights, distract or interfere with a road user's vision;

c/ use flashing or revolving lights or light sources, moving or rapidly changing displays/images (less than five seconds per display), lasers or any other method of illumination that may dazzle or distract drivers;

d/ are variable message signs (including moving panel signs or other animated signs) where each separate display is non-static from first appearance to replacement or the time to change from one display to the next is greater than two seconds or the minimum time for any separate display is less than five seconds.

• It seems the information I provided on the council's Hazmobile was out of date. The service has already terminated. I apologise for the error.

- NZ Herald

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