National Party’s pothole pledge gets thumbs up from National Road Carriers

The National Party’s pledge in its transport policy announced today to repair potholes within 24 hours and rehabilitate at least two per cent of road surfaces each year has the thumbs up from trucking industry body National Road Carriers Association (NRC).

“Potholes are a continual hazard for road freight deliveries as well as the general public – we’ve seen record numbers of them, and a clear priority to address them is well overdue,” says NRC CEO Justin Tighe-Umbers.

The National Party’s policy includes a $500 million fund for state highway and local roading repairs over three years. The funding will be met from re-prioritising spending within the National Land Transport Programme, including a reduction in expenditure on activities such as speed limit reductions and speed bump installations and the Road to Zero advertising campaign, towards investment in safer roads which are properly maintained.

The National Party has also pledged to halve the standard response time for pothole repair from 48 to 24 hours and require the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to undertake renewal and rehabilitation work on at least two per cent of the roading network each year, more than double the current rate.

Tighe-Umbers said NZTA has been stretched and asked to complete everything from modal shift to public transport, rail, emissions reduction and Road to Zero, without the extra budget or people necessary.

“As a result, the focus on getting the basics right – road maintenance – has clearly slipped. The National Party’s policy gives clear direction to NZTA to focus on the table stakes essential for drivable roads.

“It is critical that we not only keep up with the two per cent run rate needed each year to replace the roading asset, but that we actually do more to recover the decades we’ve been falling behind.”

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