Stopping bays well used

LETTER

Re: Gorge stopping bays confusing, December 30 letter.

Peter, I make regular trips through the Gorge, and I have seen people use the stopping areas for a stretch and a break from driving, a drink, trying to use their phone, a “comfort” break and the odd victim of car sickness, or giving dog passengers a chance to have a run around. The lovely formed “rest areas” also get used for the same reasons.

As for the R&V drivers not using the stopping areas to let cars behind them pass, would you? After being in a queue this long to get to your destination, why would you pull up at a stop area to lose your place in the queue and make your journey even longer!

This huge volume of traffic to Gisborne is only once a year. There is no need to change or take out the stopping areas.

Patience Rules

Re: Gorge stopping bays confusing, December 30 letter.

Peter, I make regular trips through the Gorge, and I have seen people use the stopping areas for a stretch and a break from driving, a drink, trying to use their phone, a “comfort” break and the odd victim of car sickness, or giving dog passengers a chance to have a run around. The lovely formed “rest areas” also get used for the same reasons.

As for the R&V drivers not using the stopping areas to let cars behind them pass, would you? After being in a queue this long to get to your destination, why would you pull up at a stop area to lose your place in the queue and make your journey even longer!

This huge volume of traffic to Gisborne is only once a year. There is no need to change or take out the stopping areas.

Patience Rules

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Donald Robson - 11 months ago
While you might occasionally see people stopped in the Waioeka gorge "stopping bays" for various reasons, and often considerate drivers using them as a slow lane to allow faster travelling traffic to pass, you also are likely to come across drivers who consider there is some kind of right to drive slowly. And it seems that unless they are explicitly asked to consider other drivers, Peter's point that NZTA signage is unhelpful is valid. Caution is perfectly understandable and tolerable. Ignorance is not.
NZTA's signage is not meeting a basic objective of their role of ensuring a steady and safe path of traffic through the gorge. If a driver chooses to ignore a large tail of traffic behind them and travel at a speed much slower than the legal limit, the consequence is a very much slower journey than expected for everyone else, and eventually one of them will probably take a risk.
Surely instructing slower drivers to make way via appropriate signage will make for a safer passage than allowing ignorance and ego to decide it for us.
NZTA may have some excuse for not spending on proper passing bays for such a long trip but safety surely isn't one of them, and if Peter's attempts to understand the issue from their perspective has fallen on deaf ears then maybe they need to feel a bit more heat from the rest of us frequent gorge users.

Tony - 11 months ago
It takes just one slow vehicle to create a queue. Pull over!

Peter Millar - 11 months ago
There are at least five rest areas in the gorge that can be used as "Patience Rules" alludes to. There is not one passing lane. When the stopping bays are flanked by the cliff or river edge, the rest areas that are well off the road are the more logical spot to "stop".
When the gorge is congested at any time, the slower vehicles will not add any time to their trip by being considerate enough to pull over and allow faster cars to pass. They are still travelling at their comfort pace, so I'm not sure on that rationale . . .
Given the nature of the gorge road, the "stopping bays" are some of the few places a safe passing manoeuvre can be made without having oncoming traffic to consider.
Check out the number of passing/slow vehicle lanes from Gisborne to Wairoa, some quite new. They are not called stopping bays so people allow passing to take place.

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