Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Big trucks are big trouble

Big trucks are big trouble

Longer, heavier trucks will soon be on our roads meaning drivers should brace themselves for more road carnage, and more road damage, the Green Party said today.

The Government has today announced that heavier (up to 53 tonnes), longer (up to 22 metres) trucks will now be allowed to operate on our roads.

“Bigger trucks will have a devastating impact on our roads, on the road toll, and on the viability of rail and coastal shipping,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“Already trucks are involved in 16 percent of all deaths on the roads, even though they comprise only four percent of the vehicle fleet. Motorists will face even greater danger driving around increasing numbers of giant trucks.

“Ratepayers are also going to be subsidising these bigger trucks by paying for the increased damage they will inflict on our local roading network,” Mr Hughes said.

Hundreds of thousands of journeys in 53 tonne trucks will exponentially increase the damage to our roads. Increased RUC (Road User Charges) will not cover the increased costs of damage done to local roads. Neither will they cover the upgrading of hundreds of bridges in our road network to accommodate the increased loads.

“Most of the claimed productivity gains simply reflect the shifting of costs from trucking companies onto ratepayers,” said Mr Hughes.

“For example, benefit cost calculations for this decision were made on the assumption of an additional $150 million needed over 10 years for bridge upgrades. The actual cost of bridge upgrades could easily approach $380 million according to the Ministry of Transport’s own analysis. Trucking companies will not be paying for these additional costs. Motorists and ratepayers will.”

Freight volumes are forecast to grow by around 75 percent by 2030 and the vast bulk would go by heavy truck unless Transport Minister Steven Joyce takes a more strategic look at moving freight by more sustainable alternatives. KiwiRail estimates they will lose 12% of their freight tonnes because of this move to heavier trucks.

"Rail freight and coastal shipping are more sustainable, safe, and energy efficient modes for moving freight. Yet there has, to date, been no analysis of how allowing bigger trucks will undermine our rail and sea freight systems," Mr Hughes said.

In a report from the Treasury obtained under the Official Information Act, Treasury does not recommend a lifting on the restriction of heavy vehicle limits "until a more detailed analysis has been undertaken which considers the broader costs and benefits". This analysis has not been done.

"Supposed short-term productivity gains have blinded Minister into making a decision that will cost ratepayers and endanger road users. This is not a smart way to run our transport system or our economy," said Mr Hughes.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Flag Campaign

So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between disinterest and disdain. Most New Zealanders have instinctively seen through the marketing hype involved. More>>

Change For 2017: Local Govt To Decide On Easter Sunday Trading

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced. More>>

ALSO:

(And Targets Worse Than Australia's): Foresters Abandoning Emissions Trading Scheme

The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news