28 Jun 2017

Road cones and signs in the wrong place at the wrong time will be removed in a bid to make city streets safer.

The “Cone Ranger” initiative has been launched by the Christchurch Transport Operations Centre, CTOC, which is a joint venture of Christchurch City Council, the NZ Transport Agency and Environment Canterbury.

Council Traffic Engineer Wayne Anisy removing redundant cones.

Council Traffic Engineer Wayne Anisy with some of the stray cones collected.

The aim is to make road works sites safer and more user-friendly by making sure construction companies and their traffic management staff are doing the right thing.

CTOC manager Ryan Cooney says there are a lot of stray road cones on city streets. “We just want to tidy the place up and make it easier for road users to navigate, and improve safety for everyone - pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and road workers. It’s also about minimising disruption for businesses.

“There are some instances where contractors for public and private projects and individuals are using equipment inappropriately to book space for deliveries or in other ways that aren’t permitted. We want to make sure cones and signs are being used legitimately and not being abused.”

The Cone Rangers are starting their patrols in the central city and will then move to the outer suburbs, Mr Cooney says.

The "rangers" are Council Traffic Engineer Wayne Anisy and volunteer Dale Coulter of Challenge Events Ltd who has extensive experience in traffic management. The pair began patrolling road works sites and removing rogue cones and signs last Saturday. On the first day their collection included 280 redundant cones, 16 signs, two fences, two pedestrian ramps and a barrier.

The work will continue over the next few months with checks and balances in place to ensure necessary equipment isn’t removed. Companies will be notified of a time and place when they can retrieve their confiscated equipment.

Sanctions can be imposed if it is deemed necessary, Mr Cooney says. However, CTOC has been in touch with local companies to let them know about the initiative and he is hopeful there will be a swift and voluntary improvement in behaviour.

A new Senior Traffic Management Supervisor will start work in mid-July to oversee the project and be CTOC’s “eyes on the road”.

This person will be a mentor and trainer for temporary traffic managers on road works sites and a liaison person helping construction companies work more efficiently and collaboratively.