Freight industry body National Road Carriers Association (NRC) agrees with the National Party’s focus on the essentials of building and maintaining the roading network and road resilience in its transport policy announced today.
The National Party’s transport policy is focused on bringing back roads of national significance, resilience projects and better public transport.
The policy promises extending four-lane highways in the northern Golden Triangle, and to Wellington Airport and the Christchurch northern motorway, a nationwide road upgrade programme, and resilience projects in weather-damaged areas including the Brynderwyns, Hawke’s Bay, and upgrading the Napier to Gisborne and Napier to Taupo roads.
NRC CEO Justin Tighe-Umbers applauds the National Party’s approach of stopping wasteful spending on non-essential nice-to-haves such as traffic slowing judder bars and projects that don’t focus enough on productivity such as Let’s get Wellington moving and light rail to Auckland Airport.
“We need to get roading back to a place where the freight industry can efficiently and effectively deliver goods and services for the benefit of citizens and our export economy. Efficient roading contributes to emissions reduction because there is less congestion. If we build once and build right, it will enable the economy to transition to low emissions and deliver all the goods and services we need.”
Tighe-Umbers said NRC members already pay a massive contribution to roading through road user charges, but they were not against road tolls and congestion charges if they delivered results. This means guaranteeing roads were brought up to a high standard and well-maintained without potholes so they are safe and effective transport routes for both the trucking industry and private road users.
“Right now, we are losing millions of dollars in productivity each day due to poor roading. We want to free the National Land Transport Fund to focus on roading.”
He said the National Party’s proposed spending on a four-lane highway between Tauranga, Auckland and Whangarei made sense because the region represents nearly half of the country’s GDP.
“What’s pleasing is National’s policy announcement today comes on top of their $500m commitment to double the amount of road pavement replaced each year. Doing the hard work of looking after the roads we already have is not glamorous, but critical – this shows they are serious about delivering improvements.”