17 Jul 2020
For National Road Carriers
Road freight sector advocate National Road Carriers Association (NRC) has welcomed National Party leader Judith Collins’ announcement today of a $31 billion transport and infrastructure package if it wins the September general election.
NRC chair Don Wilson said he was particularly pleased the package included a four lane expressway linking Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, the reinstatement of the East West Link and the repeal of the Auckland regional fuel tax.
“The East-West Link will provide connectivity between State Highway 1 and State Highway 20 and will be a key freight link into Auckland’s major industrial area and the Southdown rail freight terminal.”
He said NRC also welcomed the National Party’s planned public transport upgrades and rail projects as these will ease congestion and free up freight lanes.
“This will improve supply chain efficiencies and reduce carbon emission output which can only be a good thing for New Zealand,” said Mr Wilson.
“If we are to keep NZ Inc. moving, we need to think about freight and how it is moved. The many infrastructure projects on the country’s development agenda including hospitals, schools and billion dollar plus developments including the Auckland International Convention Centre and Auckland’s Central Interceptor waste water project will need trucks to assist the building.
“Not one of these projects will be able to rely on rail to deliver the necessary supplies. Trucks will be required so we need good roading infrastructure.
“We’re not against spending on upgrading rail infrastructure but rail is not going to replace trucks. Rail will complement trucks given the growing freight requirement. All modes need to be improved.” Mr Wilson said he expected the multi-billion dollar package would go a long way to address road maintenance problems.
“Roading has been an afterthought for the last two years, not only new roads but the maintenance of our current roads as evidenced by the huge response to our Facebook appeal last year asking members for examples of poor roading.”
NRC represents 1,800 road transport companies collectively operating 16,000 trucks throughout New Zealand.
“The consensus among our trucking company members is that New Zealand roads have been deteriorating due to lack of proper maintenance in recent years and need urgent attention.”
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