Removing trucks from Auckland CBD ridiculous, says RTF
Excluding heavy trucks from Auckland city between 9am and 5pm would have a negative impact on all New Zealanders, says Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett.
“This proposal announced today by Mayoral candidate John Tamihere has consequences that have not been thought through and the policy is frankly, lacking in strategy and planning and is ridiculous,” Leggett says.
“Mr Tamihere says the operations of the Ports of Auckland should move, but he has no idea where to. So, any move is many years away. In the interim, there seems to be this bizarre proposal to exclude heavy trucks from Auckland central business district (CBD) – where Ports of Auckland operates – between 9am and 5pm. But again, he’s not sure what that truck exclusion will include.
“Why would you increase the costs of transporting goods in and out of New Zealand’s major city? This proposal would definitely add costs to all the goods in people’s lives that are transported by trucks – which is pretty much everything.
“And what about all the workers involved in transporting goods, not just the truck drivers, who would then have to work through the night to accommodate this? Firstly, there are health and safety concerns with that; secondly, there would be extra costs that would be passed on to end consumers; and thirdly, extra costs would impact on the ability for New Zealand’s export goods to be competitive in a tight global market. Let’s not forget, exports are the lifeblood of the New Zealand economy.
“Mr Tamihere also suggests if he can’t have trucks banned, he will impose a congestion tax on them. If there is a congestion tax, which may be a good idea, it should be on all road users as tax should be fair and equitable.
“Everyone understands there is frustration in Auckland managing the volume of traffic. But to free up roads, Auckland needs a reliable and efficient public transport system. At the moment, the CBD is just a whole lot of dug up roads that are not accessible that are adding to that congestion.
“What we see is a policy without a strategy or a plan.”