Home' Auckland City Harbour News : February 27th 2013 Contents Saint Kentigern
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Don't run for
Ports of Auckland
Round the Bays
Westhaven Marina is
due to get a facelift.
Read all about what is
planned -- P4
Oakley Creek needs
your help. Its annual
cleanup day is being
held this Sunday -- P12
The 2013 BMW New
Zealand Polo Open was
open to the public for
the first time and our
along to the final. Go to
news.co.nz and click on
Latest Edition to see
photos of all the action
and the fashion
Go to aucklandcity
click on Local Blogs to
read Pat Booth's latest
Rescuer: Matthieu Mereau helped pull a woman in a wheelchair woman out of the path of a train.
Photos: PETER MEECHAM
Aftermath: A St John staff member speaks to a woman rescuer whose foot was
injured at the Morningside station when a train hit a woman in a wheelchair. The
damaged wheelchair is in the background.
By EMMA WHITTAKER and
CALLS to improve pedestrian safety
at railway crossings are being
reignited after a woman in a
wheelchair was struck by a freight
The 23-year-old victim is in critical
condition and is being treated at
Auckland Hospital for severe head
injuries and multiple fractures after
the incident at Morningside.
It is understood the accident
occurred when her wheelchair
became stuck at 9.10am on Monday.
Matthieu Mereau was on his way
to work in Kingsland when he saw
the trapped woman.
She was trying to move herself out
of the way. I went over and said, I'll
help you, I'll get you out.''
Mr Mereau couldn't free the chair
and called over a woman jogging past
Both struggled for as long as they
could as the barrier arms came down
and bells sounded the rapid approach
of a train.
They had no option but to tip the
trapped woman out of her chair and
leap out of the way of the oncoming
The woman fell clear but the
wheelchair was still on the tracks,''
Mr Mereau says.
That got caught by the train. The
lady was still close to the wheelchair
so she got dragged along.''
The woman who came to help was
also taken to hospital and was
released later in the day.
Albert-Eden Local Board member
Graeme Easte says the incident
shows Auckland Transport needs to
urgently consider grade level separa-
tion at railway crossings.
Grade separation refers to bridges
or tunnels over or under lines so
pedestrians and motorists are not
forced to cross tracks.
The board has been pushing for the
approach since its formation in 2010.
We accept its expensive and its
going to take time. It's our vision that
maybe they'd be able to do one a year.
We're not trying to break the
bank, we are trying to break the pat-
tern of doing nothing,'' he says.
Mr Easte says work may need to be
done to see if there are any interim
safety measure that can be put in
Auckland Transport has inves-
tigated grade level separation and
Morningside Drive is on a list of 23
sites across the city that it believes
would benefit from it.
Wheelchair user and barrier free
adviser for CCS Disability Action Viv-
ian Naylor went to look at the
Morningside crossing on Monday and
says she would not have attempted
When intersections are first done
they are beautiful, but as time goes
on and the tarseal layers up they
become more dangerous,'' she says.
Ms Naylor says those with different
access needs are not good at com-
plaining and will often find an
alternative route or change plans
instead of raising problems.
We are constantly planning routes
that no-one else would think about,''
Ms Naylor says.
Training people to think about
travel in the same way as someone
with limited mobility would help, she
I have been in touch with Kiwi
Rail when a crossing is dangerous
and they come out very quickly and
make amendments, but I don't know
if crews look at crossings in the same
way they look at tracks.''
She says some crossings have gates
that prevent people from venturing
out if it is not safe and something like
that could work at Morningside.
Suburban crossings do need to be
kept in pretty good condition. At the
very least they need to address the
substrate in the surface.''
She says its been quite a long time
since the crossing was upgraded.
I bet if it was a pothole in a road
it would have been fixed earlier.''
A Kiwi Rail spokeswoman says the
crossing was upgraded in mid-2011
and since then there had been no
The last time an incident occurred
at Morningside before the upgrade
was in 2002 when a person was hit
Fairfax NZ News
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