Works take toll on windscreens

By Emily Norman emily.norman@age.co.nz -
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Sealing works south of the Waingawa Bridge on SH2 last month are being blamed for an upsurge in windscreen repairs. PHOTO/FILE
Sealing works south of the Waingawa Bridge on SH2 last month are being blamed for an upsurge in windscreen repairs. PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa drivers are facing waits of up to two weeks for windscreen chip repairs, and SH2 roadworks are being blamed.

Steen McGhie of Wairarapa Windscreens said his repair workload had doubled since the summer roadworks began, with customers blaming cracked windshields on loose stones along SH2 "flicking up at them".

He said people are flocking to smaller repair businesses to skip the long queues at the bigger 'name brands'.

"I'd say probably in the last two months I've really noticed how much work there is," he said. "Just about all of our customers say they have come to us because the waiting list is just too long for the bigger repair businesses.

"We've been doing about four stone chip repairs a day now, which is double what we would normally do.

"I used to quite casually say yes to jobs but now I have to carry my diary around with me to make sure my bookings are lined up right."

Ryan Pullman of Express Auto Glas Services said he had also noticed a higher demand for windscreen repairs "especially with the roadworks along Waingawa".

"Just your usual stones flicking up at the vehicles is what we're seeing a lot of," he said. "It starts off as a chip but it spreads pretty instantly. It hasn't affected our capacity for emergency services though because we do same-day services anyway."

Dave Halligan of Dave's Windscreens in Carterton said his waiting list was "probably about a week behind" due to increased repair inquiries.

"It's normally busy anyway but it's just been a big increase with the roadworks."

He said there was another Wairarapa-based windscreen repair business which was "at one stage about six weeks behind".

But things seem to be calming down now, according to Simon O'Donoghue of Ziggy's Glass who said his workload peaked about a month ago.

"There's still a waiting list but it's not as frantic as it was," he said. "The enquiries have tapered off a little bit. But it was pretty bad at one stage there."

He said Ziggy's Glass can now complete windscreen repair within two working days.

A Wairarapa Times-Age Facebook post about the long wait for windscreen repairs attracted many frustrated comments. "We are on a two-week waiting list. Really bad crack right in driving vision," Viv Mauriri commented.

Bett Francis wrote, "One week for a new windscreen. The guy apologised for the wait from all the repairs he had from the Waingawa resealing in the 31-degree heat."

A spokesperson from AMI Insurance confirmed "the number of windscreen claims might increase when there are roadworks happening".

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