Wedged bus no hitch to wedding

By Corey Charlton

After enduring two earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks, a stuck tour bus yesterday didn't rattle the nerves of a visiting bride and groom due to get married only a few hours later.

Norm Symons and Cathy Trainor, from Kaiapoi just outside of Christchurch, were aboard a tour bus which got stuck on a tight corner up Te Mata Peak Road outside Peak House Restaurant.

Despite the possibility it could throw their wedding plans astray - scheduled for 4pm at the Napier RSA - they brushed off any panic.

"I wasn't concerned at all," Mr Symons said. "I don't panic about things like that - not much. I knew it would happen."

Speaking just after he and his new bride tied the knot yesterday, he brushed off the mishap.

"She [the bus driver] just missed the sharp u-turn and she sort of anchored the back of the bus and couldn't get round."

They were part of a group of 38 people who were stranded when the bus got jammed trying to navigate its way around the Peak House Restaurant corner.

A tow truck was called in to help wedge the bus out of its jam before it finished its descent, while traffic backed up the hill above it.

Hastings Police Senior Constable Tim Rowe said the bus driver was also from out of town and wasn't familiar with the road.

"The bus driver was from out of town, she has gone up Te Mata Peak in about a 13 metre bus - of course there are no signs," he said. "She's got to the top where she's noticed a sign that says 'caution buses over 7 metres'. She turned around to come back down and just got stuck."

He said it would be a good idea for the council to erect some signs so bus drivers were aware of the treacherous road.

There has only been a handful of accidents on the upper reaches of Te Mata Peak Rd since 2000, but one involving a bus and a tourist in 2008 brought into focus for council the danger the road can pose. In 2009, the Hastings District Council considered installing traffic lights on the most treacherous parts.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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