Survey day skews results

THE RTA continues to find it hard to convince Grafton residents its motives are pure when discussing options for a second bridge at Grafton.

At yesterday’s afternoon seminar to discuss the findings of the heavy vehicle study of Grafton, residents attacked the survey’s methodology and claimed it did not collect enough data.

They also claimed the day chosen to conduct the survey of heavy vehicle traffic in Grafton, Thursday, August 19, skewed the results to show truck journeys made up smaller proportion of the total journeys tallied on the day.

A spokesperson for the Grafton Concerned Citizens Group, Bob Cairns, was still convinced the RTA wanted to build the cheapest option, a crossing close to the current bridge.

“They’ve got an agenda they’re following despite anything we say,” he said.

“Doing the study on a Thursday, when a lot of people come into town to do their shopping, makes heavy vehicle journeys appear to be smaller percentage of the journeys.”

The survey found a total of 26,554 vehicles crossed the bridge in the 14-hour survey period and 1388 of these were classed as heavy vehicles.

Mr Cairns, a former RTA engineer, claimed there were flaws in the survey that did not allow it to collect enough data.

The majority of yesterday’s seminar delivered to around 40 residents, consisted of a presentation from the Reece Humphries, from GTA Consultants, who the RTA contracted to do the survey.

Mr Humphries outlined the survey methodology and presented the data collected.

RTA project director Bob Higgins said residents had nothing to fear. He said since the RTA had thrown open the consultancy process in December last year, all options were open for consideration.

“Since we came in December last year we’ve opened everything up and asked for consultation on all issues,” he said.

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