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:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news