Auckland drivers were already fed up battling traffic congestion before Monday’s Southern Motorway bridge strike shambles heightened those frustrations.
Few in Auckland escaped the chaos after an over-height crane slammed into an overbridge, blocking the Southern Motorway for hours. Though the accident happened in the early afternoon, commuters trying to get home from the central city that night still faced traffic jams as the big jam finally started to ease up.
Video footage showing two police officers trying to sweep up glass at the scene with a worn broom and a plastic bucket in the aftermath of the accident hardly offered reassurance that the authorities were adequately equipping front-line motorway staff to deal with episodes such as this.
Photo / Supplied
Police and NZTA staff no doubt did their best to sort out the chaos as quickly as possible, but surely motorway staff deserve better tools than a worn broom and plastic bucket to get the country’s largest city moving again.
The accident also highlighted the increasing number of huge trucks and trailers on our motorways — while the driver in this case appears to be copping much of the blame, the hundreds of thousands of people whose day was disrupted will be eager to see where final responsibility lies and what the consequences are.
The vast majority of heavy truck drivers are among the most considerate and skilled on the roads but the road transport industry and transport authorities cannot ignore a rising tide of frustration fuelled by episodes like that of this week.
The lifeblood of the country’s largest city should not depend on a bucket and broom.