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28 buses ordered off road following safety compliance checks

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A joint Transport Agency/Police operation aimed at ensuring the safety of passengers using buses in Wellington has ended with 28 buses in the region 'pink-stickered' and removed from service for significant fluid leak faults.

The Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) today completed a two-day operation to assess the safety of the region's buses, to ensure that a range of serious faults previously discovered on 14 buses in an operation conducted in May had been addressed. A total of 104 buses were stopped during the operation in the Hutt Valley, Wellington and its suburbs.

Kate Styles, Transport Agency Regional Manager, Access and Use, said:

"While it is encouraging that a number of the safety faults identified by our operation in May have been addressed, it's disappointing that so many buses were found on the road with serious oil leaks which had not been fixed.

"Our focus is squarely on the safety of passengers using Wellington buses, and while it's pleasing that many improvements have been made, the best result would be to find that every bus on the road was up to the standard that we expect and that passengers are entitled to expect. Unfortunately that hasn't been the case. The purpose of these inspections is not to order buses off of the road – it's to ensure that the buses that people in the region use every day are safe.

"The Transport Agency is pleased that NZ Bus will be working with us in the weeks ahead to ensure that the issues identified in this week's operation are addressed."

Senior Sergeant Willie Roy, of Police CVIU, said the common theme among all 28 of the vehicles ordered off the road was serious oil leaks – an obvious fire hazard. Other significant faults detected on a number of buses included insecure fuel tanks and battery boxes, as well as faulty lighting. Vehicles that receive pink stickers must immediately be removed from service.

Mr Roy said the buses pink stickered represented about 30% of the vehicles checked. When combined with a range of other safety faults detected, 47% of the buses stopped and checked had some kind of fault, he said.

"The responsibility is now squarely with the operator to fix these problems, so the public can be assured these services are safe and we will be working alongside NZTA to ensure this happens."

For more information please contact:

NZTA media contact: Andy Knackstedt, Ph 021 276 3222

Police media contact: Ross Henderson, Ph 027 703 7329

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