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Road Quality Will Plummet Under Current Structure

Wednesday 1st Nov 2000
Penny Webster
Speech -- Other

New Zealand must explore new road funding methods or risk creating a third world roading infrastructure, said ACT Transport spokesman Penny Webster.

Councils around New Zealand are cutting back on road maintenance because of rising diesel and bitumen costs. Some councils have reported reseal costs up to 40 per cent higher than last year, and have pruned works programmes to keep within budgets.

“Quality roads are vital for the safe travel of all New Zealanders.

“Councils around New Zealand are reducing dramatically their funding of road improvements and will lead to a deterioration in roading quality. New Zealand already spends the least amount on roading per capita than any other country in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Is it any wonder our road toll is a national shame?

“ACT believes the current road funding policy is foolish when uncomplicated alternatives are readily available. It would only require a simple change of legislation to allow private companies to build or alter roads.

“This new structure would encourage competition leading to greater driver satisfaction, increased constructions and higher safety standards. Australia came to this conclusion years ago and have implemented the hugely successful BOOT’s (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) scheme.

“Road construction and policy should be Transport Minister Mark Gosche’s priority. If the Minister wants to address an important variable in road deaths he should investigate viable road construction alternatives,“ said Penny Webster.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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