We were sceptical when it was first mooted that taxis be allowed to use Grafton Bridge – even though the ground rules of the one-year trial period were clearly laid out, would taxi drivers be prepared to stick to them? As it happened, the first few days of the trial weren’t reassuring.
And now, as recently reported, Auckland Transport is recommending an early end to the trial period of letting taxis use Grafton Bridge. The primary reasons: too many drivers were exceeding the speed limit and/or overtaking people on bikes.
Over the last few months we’ve had a lot of first-hand reports of taxis breaking the rules, but AT’s commissioned report on the first 3 months contains some pretty definitive numbers and images. Excerpts below:
“A clear objective of the trial was that the presence of taxis would not decrease safety or the perception of safety for the large number of cyclists using the bridge,” Edin director Tim Segedin – who wrote the review for AT – said.
The report said 30 taxis had been caught overtaking while cameras were up and a warning had been sent to taxi companies in September after the first two incidents.
Mr Segedin said if the drivers had been acting that way despite pressure from management during the trial to behave well, it was only likely to get worse if the rules were made permanent.
And from the Fairfax local papers:
AT media relations manager Mark Hannan says that taxi organisations have been kept well informed of their responsibilities during the trial.
They have also been informed of any violations by their drivers, he says.
AT is now taking feedback from all stakeholders – taxi companies included – preparatory to the meeting at which it will present its recommendation. To make sure people on bikes are adequately represented, we’d love your feedback and any thoughts on your experiences crossing Grafton Bridge. Two options:
- Give feedback directly from AT’s own page (which gives the background of the trial, and includes a link to the report mentioned above).
- Or use the quick response form below, and we will collate your feedback and pass it on.
(PS here’s some extra background discussion in this Transportblog post, from when the trial was first announced).
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