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Efficient rail and road network good for NZ

Efficient rail and road network good for New Zealand

Auckland- NewZealand. Tranz Rail Holdings {NZSE: TRH}

Tranz Rail is disappointed at the negative stance taken by the Road Transport Forum (RTF) against rail in their just released report into road freight.

Tranz Rail Managing Director Michael Beard believes New Zealand benefits from having a vital rail and road network and it is not a question of having to choose one or the other.

"It is important there is a level playing field between both modes of transport and that is where the proposed Government support of the rail infrastructure will greatly assist in achieving this objective. Better rail means better roads which will benefit communities nation-wide.

"RTF's characterisation of falling rail patronage and satisfaction levels is wide of the mark. Tranz Rail has over 6000 customers and yet the report put together by the RTF looks at just four of these. This is hardly representational.

"Over the last 12 months freight in the service sensitive forwarding market carried by rail has grown by 20 per cent and this can be directly attributed to four key reasons.

* On time departure and arrivals has increased to 85 per cent

* Improved transit times, with an average of two and half-hours taken off the average journey time.

* Cargo handling errors have been reduced by 90 per cent.

* Customer satisfaction has risen from 32 per cent to 78 per cent

"Over the last 10 years the average cost of using rail has dropped by 23% as new efficiencies have been introduced. Contrary to RTF claims, price is a significant issue to customers.

"Road does offer faster transits and more flexible access and is priced accordingly. That is why it is important that both road and rail are competitive and that there is a level playing field so both can provide appropriate price and service to the different market segments.

"In its report the RTF fail to mention that the growth of road transport depends on taxpayers subsidies as well as industry cross subsidisation.

"In summing up Mr Beard says in many areas the RTF are confused or plainly wrong in their conclusions," says Mr Beard.

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