The importance of efficient road transport for the economy must not be undervalued, says Business NZ.
Chief Executive Simon Carlaw says the Infometrics report released by the Road Transport Forum today highlights the critical role of road transport in creating wealth particularly in regional areas.
"Roads allow for the efficient, flexible movement of goods and people. The report confirms that while rail transport is relatively low-cost, it doesn't necessarily meet business service levels for efficiency, flexibility, and reliability. The limited extent of the rail network and the frequent double handling it requires means rail is frequently not an option for many business users.
"This report is timely, as Parliament is currently considering the Land Transport Management Bill which would take money away from roading to divert it to other uses such as more rail subsidies. This would be bad news for the economy and would inevitably impact on the living standards of New Zealanders.
"Continuing under investment in roads means increased costs for all businesses. As agribusiness already faces higher transport costs than other sectors of the economy, anything that increases road transport costs has a disproportionately negative impact on the New Zealand economy.
"The Infometrics report serves as a warning not to rob roading to pay for rail - that would only harm the prosperity of every New Zealander."