Information regarding the lack of action on a particular complaint

Hugh Davenport made this Official Information request to Wellington Regional Council

Currently waiting for a response from Wellington Regional Council, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Hugh Davenport

Dear Wellington Regional Council,

Attention Margaret Meek

In response to https://fyi.org.nz/request/9569-informat...

In regards to the 12 December incident, the attachment you show gives the following information:
- Route number
- Time
- Date
- Operator involved
- Location
- Description of the incident

You mention that "more specific information was sought from me at the time". What more specific information was sought, and how was it sought? I would like to request the correspondence where you sought this information from me, and what information you sought. I have checked my emails, and there are none that are asking for clarification. Indeed, all the information you needed (and have in your system as pointed out above), was sent to you at https://twitter.com/thebusfactor/status/..., and via email also.

Further on that, what information do you actually need in general to actually do any follow up? Do you have any policy on what information is required? Other than time/date/location/route/description. I would have thought that be sufficient, but appears not.

I'm very disappointed that there was no follow up, when you had all the information you needed. Now you are trying to claim that you asked for specific information, but there appears to be no record of that. Is it standard practice for Metlink to simply ignore complaints? Given that I've also met with staff at GWRC to discuss *safety matters*, and have shown that I am very serious about safety concerns, I would have thought a follow up would be polite at the least.

I also find your comment implying that you don't bother to investigate safety issues if only a witness makes a complaint, rather than an actual victim. There is a huge stigma in the community about cyclists reporting bad behaviours, especially to Metlink. This causes most cyclists to simply not complain, as there will be no outcome, or worse, the victim is blamed. This is a scarily bad look for Metlink and their lack of safety culture. I would have thought that anyone that sees unsafe driving should have the responsibility to report that unsafe driving, and that Metlink should treat all unsafe driving seriously, even if no "victim" comes forward.

One example of Metlink having terrible and unsafe outcomes for bus vs cyclists:
- Buses moving into the cycle lane along Thorndon Quay. Metlink responds saying cyclists are at fault and that the bus was moving into a "bus lane". There is no bus lane here, and Metlinks response is just backing up unsafe bus drivers, rather than insisting that drivers behave in a safe and courteous manner, while obeying all road laws. This was reported by Raymond Kemp, the video of this is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud9RL-mN..., the response is available at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=....
Can anyone from Metlink/GWRC/any of the bus operators point out where this bus lane is along that road??? If not, why was it suggested that there was a bus lane? Why did Metlink staff specifically call out the cyclist as being in the wrong when they clearly weren't? This is simply the definition of victim blaming. This is a terrible practice, and I would hope that Metlink deal with that appropriately.

What was the outcome of that complaint? Did the staff member that incorrectly said it was a bus lane and blamed the cyclist victim have any disciplinary action? Did that staff member have any training about road rules, or have to do any remedial training? Did that staff member make other incorrect or victim blaming comments on other tickets?
Was an apology ever issued to the cyclist for incorrectly blaming them and stating that it was a bus lane incorrectly? Was the complaint re-opened once this was determined to be incorrect?
Did the bus operators have any penalty applied? Did the bus operators follow up with any disciplinary actions for the driver? Did the driver have remedial training to inform them the difference between bus lanes and cycle lanes, and how to correctly watch their blind spot? Did the driver attend a bus bike workshop after the incident? I notice that the cyclist was suggested to attend, so I would hope that the driver was also "suggested" or required to attend. If not, why do only cyclists have to care about safety of cyclists? If a cyclist hits a bus, who is more likely to die?
Did Metlink think seriously about how that driving behaviour was a breach of the bus operators contract, and think seriously about terminating that contract due to this breach? Does Metlink have any metrics on the number of breaches of contract occur due to unsafe driving? Is there a set limit on the number of incidents of unsafe driving before Metlink actually do something like terminate the contract?

Another concern about cyclists, is that GWRC have continued to not run these bike bus workshops, or run very minimal ones, and nowhere near what I have been told that GWRC plans to do (4x a year, 1 year they only did 2). I have seen comments from the organiser from CAN that runs these, and he has commented that GWRC have been radio silent on him. Why is that? Have any been planned? Have all the drivers that have had incidents involving cyclists attended them? Have all new drivers attended them? If no to any of those questions, why not? Is Metlink doing anything to try and improve safety?

So, going forward, what steps are Metlink actually going to take to ensure that safety is taken seriously? Will Metlink start actioning all complaints where there is sufficient information, or will they actually request more specific information? Will Metlink start taking cycle safety seriously, like taking part in bus bike workshops, and requiring all new drivers, or all drivers involved in an incident with a cyclist, to attend? Will they stop causing a stigma against cyclists making complaints and victim blaming such as the example with Raymond Kemp above? There is so much that Metlink could actually do, and I see none of it happening. Only talk. If I were part of GWRC, I would be ashamed of how little the organisation seems to care about safety of human lives. It is not the responsibility of one person, it is the entire organisation that needs to change and promote a safety first culture. Simply ignoring valid complaints about unsafe driving does not show a safety first culture, or even a safety culture...

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Sam Horsefield
Wellington Regional Council

Dear Hugh,

 

Acknowledgement of Request for Information under the Local Government
Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

 

Thank you for your email dated 13 March 2019, requesting information
regarding the lack of action on a particular complaint.

 

Your request is being followed-up and a reply will be sent to you within
20 working days of the request being received.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sam Horsefield

 

 

for

Luke Troy

General
Manager                                                                            

Strategy

Greater Wellington Regional Council

 

 

 

 

 

ATTENTION: This correspondence is confidential and intended for the named
recipient(s) only. If you are not the named recipient and receive this
correspondence in error, you must not copy, distribute or take any action
in reliance on it and you should delete it from your system and notify the
sender immediately. Unless otherwise stated, any views or opinions
expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of
the organisation.

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear Wellington Regional Council,

Attention Margaret Meek

Just a follow up on this to add to the request.

First, the facebook link is unavailable now. The response from Metlink is now available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kAQGaKf...

Secondly, I note that Metlinks response said the victim (cyclist) was in the wrong due to being in the drivers blind spot. Is it the policy of Metlink and the bus operators and the bus drivers to not attempt to look in their blind spot before making a lane changing manoeuvre (or really anything where a normal driver would check their blind spot)? In addition, from Schedule 4 (Vehicle Quality Standards) of the bus contract (available at https://www.metlink.org.nz/assets/Upload...), in Table 2 "Mandatory Requirements", row T2.64 (pages 37 and 38 of that schedule, pages 96 and 97 of that PDF), it lists the requirements for a reversing camera and a rear and side "blind spot" camera. The reasoning for this for "Safety particularly in high pedestrian and cyclist areas". Given that Metlinks response to the victim was that they were in the buses blind spot. Did that bus have those camera systems installed? Is it Metlinks, the bus operators, and the bus drivers policies to *not* use those cameras to determine whether anything is in their blind spot, thus whether it is safe to move?

Hopefully this request and all the questions raised will help Metlink to realise that maybe they don't have an adequate safety first culture, and there are a lot of things to improve on. I hope that these things start getting improved on. It is terrible that you a) refuse to follow up on complaints about safety, b) victim blaming, and c) appear to have an unsafe standard of *not* checking blind spots.

I acknowledge that this request addition will extend the time limit by one day.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Sam Horsefield
Wellington Regional Council

Dear Hugh,

 

I have added this to your original request.

 

Yours sincerely,

Sam Horsefield

 

Sam Horsefield | Information Services Administrator

GREATER WELLINGTON REGIONAL COUNCIL
Te Pane Matua Taiao

15 Walter Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011 | PO Box 11646, Manners St,
Wellington 6142

 

 

 

ATTENTION: This correspondence is confidential and intended for the named
recipient(s) only. If you are not the named recipient and receive this
correspondence in error, you must not copy, distribute or take any action
in reliance on it and you should delete it from your system and notify the
sender immediately. Unless otherwise stated, any views or opinions
expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of
the organisation.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

This has been extended to 31 May 2019 under section 14(1)(a) of the LGOIMA.

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Unsure whether this has been extended, they haven't given which ones exactly...

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
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