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Trucking must pay its way - Greens

3 July 2008

Trucking must pay its way - Greens

It is time to stop subsidising the trucking industry and price transport on a level playing field if New Zealand is to make the transition to a sustainable economy, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"At the moment, truck drivers only pay 56 percent of their costs to the economy, compared to rail freight users who pay on average 82 percent and ordinary motorists who pay 64 percent, according to the Ministry of Transport's Surface Transport Costs and Charges study from 2005.

"This distorts the decisions of freight customers when choosing whether to send their products by road or rail because true costs are not reflected in the prices.

"It is important to remember that Road User Charges for trucks have been increased only once since 1989," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"If we want to see more of our heavy freight on rail instead of big trucks on the road, we need fair Road User Charges.

"I hope those living in tomorrow's protest areas will respond by using the rail system, cycling, walking or even taking the day off," Ms Fitzsimons says.


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