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Mega truck permits rise by 2000 in two years

Darien FENTON
Transport Spokesperson

8 January  2014                                                      MEDIA STATEMENT

Mega truck permits rise by 2000 in two years 

The number of permits allowing mega trucks on state highways and local roads has risen by over 2000 in the past two years, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson.

“In the year ended October 2013 2,528 permits for high productivity mass vehicles (53 tonne trucks) were approved, compared to 243 in the year ended October 2011.

“In the last year, 950 permits for over-length vehicles were approved, and another 109 for 50-tonne maximum trucks.

“The fatalities and injuries involving truck accidents over recent days, including the tragic death of an Auckland cyclist highlight the safety issues of a growing number of high productivity mass vehicles, and councils designating more local roads for their use.

“The cost of allowing these trucks is falling on ratepayers and taxpayers.  Another $40 million is needed just to upgrade bridges throughout the road network and goodness knows how much on upgrading roads and state highways.

“The Government says that allowing 53-tonne trucks will increase productivity and reduce the number of trucks on our roads.

“The social cost of accidents involving trucks is around $350 million a year, yet this doesn’t appear to be factored in.

“It’s important that freight can be moved efficiently around New Zealand, but this requires a mix of transport modes, including rail and coastal shipping. 

“The current Government’s obsession with building roads to increase freight means that inevitably, car users and cyclists are going to come off second best,” says Ms Fenton. 

ENDS

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