5 Mar 2016

Minister invited to ride on dusty school roads

8:50 am on 5 March 2016

Northland people fed up with clouds of dust kicked up by logging trucks are inviting the Minister of Education to ride the local school bus and judge the risk for herself.

logging truck on gravel roadno captions Northland

A dusty road in Northland. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Residents of the Pipiwai area asked their local MP Winston Peters to ride the schoolbus last month - but he was stopped at the last minute by the Ministry of Education.

The residents' spokeswoman Alex Wright said Mr Peters was told there wasn't room for him.

But she said Hekia Parata should have no trouble getting on board to see how the bus dodges log trucks.

Mrs Wright said the driver had to steer the bus with one hand and hold a radio in the other to talk to the truck drivers, and track their whereabouts.

She said small strips of her road were sealed by local councils last year, but that had made little difference to the choking dust clouds.

Northland Health has set up monitors on the unsealed roads to test for PM Tens - small particles that cause lung disease.

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