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Freight Forum a big move ahead

MEDIA RELEASE
04 April 2005

Freight Forum a big move ahead

In a first for the region, Auckland City has established a regular freight forum where the freight industry, local government and community find innovative solutions to improve freight movement.

The forum is a positive step towards addressing challenges faced to find solutions that benefit both the industry and the community, says Garson Bell, Auckland City’s transport policies and projects manager.

“It’s important to find a balance between the community’s feeling about large trucks in their streets and the most effective and efficient ways for goods to move around the city,” Mr Bell says.

Road Transport Forum NZ chief executive Tony Friedlander says the road transport industry welcomes the establishment of the council’s Freight Forum.

“It is very encouraging to see issues surrounding freight movement throughout the city discussed in a calm and realistic way. Due to the vital importance of efficient freight transport to the city, this forum should help to find workable ways of overcoming barriers which are already hindering Auckland's economic growth," says Mr Friedlander.

One of the issues discussed at the first forum on 22 March was the use of engine braking in Auckland city. It was agreed that engine braking is not necessary in the city and truck drivers would be discouraged from using it.

Rather than the council putting signage across the city, it will be erected at the exits to major freight facilities and depots. Industry heads will also let their drivers know that engine braking should not be used in the city.

“This is a great example of how the freight forum can provide the most suitable solution,” says Mr Bell.

The forum also seeks to address the community’s concerns about trucks using residential streets.

“The fact is that Aucklanders wouldn’t enjoy restaurants, supermarket shopping or even a latte in the city without the movement of freight.

“With traffic levels steadily increasing it is becoming more difficult and therefore more expensive to move goods into and across the city. This cost is passed on to consumers,” says Mr Bell.

The forum attracted representatives from across the industry including freight companies, Ports of Auckland, Toll Holdings NZ and courier companies operating in Auckland.

The next forum is planned for September this year.

Ends

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