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Little red carts bringing mail

Little red electric vehicles are being used to deliver mail in Hastings, Flaxmere and Havelock North after NZ Post gained consent from Hastings District Council to use them on footpaths.

 “We were keen to help if we could and NZ Post has put in both a very strong health and safety plan and comprehensive training programme which gave us the confidence to permit this to go ahead,” said the chairman of Council’s social and development committee Malcolm Dixon.

At the time that Council gave approval, more than 20 councils had welcomed the initiative and talks were underway with another eight. In Hastings the vehicle deliveries started this week. Permission has been given for a trial of three years with six-monthly reviews.

Electric vehicles were investigated in response to declining mail volumes and increasing parcel volumes, the report to Council said. NZ Post said that the service needed a vehicle that was “smaller than a van, but can carry more than a bicycle”. The model decided upon was the Lloyds Paxster with ‘on road’ trials starting in Lower Hutt and parts of Auckland in 2014. NZ Post said there had been no issues.

“We’re pleased to welcome this new technology into our area, and by doing that assist State Owned Enterprise NZ Post to continue a service that is 170 years old. This move fits with Council’s aims to plan for more compact communities, and to help bind communities together,” said Mr Dixon.

The vehicles are limited to wider footpaths and are specifically banned from busy pedestrian routes in the main shopping areas. The drivers have to give way to all other footpath users, travel at less than 20kmh on footpaths, and must use the road where deliveries are more than 50m apart. They must not drive over grass verges or block the footpath.

6 October 2017

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