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Removal of SH1B road barrier may force agencies to close road permanently

State Highway 1B at the corner of Telephone Road and Holland Road in Puketaha remains closed.

Someone recently removed the safety barriers which are there to prevent vehicles from going across the lines. Waka Kotahi have replaced the barriers on several occasions, but they continue to be removed.

Waikato District Mayor Jacqui Church is urging residents to be patient, and to not tamper with the barriers. 

“We have been strongly advised that Waka Kotahi may need to close this road permanently if people continue to use the crossing.”

The road was closed last year because low vehicles were damaging the railway tracks, increasing the risk of a train derailment. Approximately 38 trains use this line every day.

This road is managed by Waka Kotahi and the railway tracks are the responsibility of KiwiRail. The decision to close the crossing was made by Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail for safety reasons. 

“Council’s priority is to try to find a safe solution that will work for our communities, but any solution is likely to take some time, ” says Mayor Church. 

“We’ve been told that vehicles are using the road and crossing over the railway lines, despite it being closed. We know the road closure is causing significant issues, particularly for our Puketaha residents but, for your safety, we urge you to be patient. Vehicles crossing the tracks is a very serious safety risk, particularly as there are no railway warning barriers in place.

“We are working closely with Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail to find a solution that will enable the crossing to stay open, but it’s not an easy fix. If the road barriers are removed again, Waka Kotahi may be forced to permanently close this road.”

Information about the road closure can be found here.