Govt Approval Of Heavier Trucks Beggars Belief


DSCN1951.JPGThere’s something scary that the same weekend that President Obama’s American Clean Energy and Security Act, which mandates reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and sets a national standard for renewable electricity,narrowly passes the House, our transport minister is announcing road transport operators can now carry heavier loads, by permit, on specified routes. Steven Joyce calls it a “win - win” situation for the economy and the travelling public.

BTW, still no mention of rail funding. What next will this road transport-crazed government do? Force us out of the trains into compulsory buying of Humvees?

Joyce justifies this by saying it will see fewer trucks on the road so is great news for motorists!

“This would deliver big productivity gains for industry as a result of reduced transportation costs and help New Zealand grow faster out of the current global recession. We are a small country a long way from the rest of the world. This is one way to help reduce freight costs for our exporters, boosting their ability to compete.Allowing some trucks on some routes to carry heavier loads would also mean fewer trucks on the roads. This would have the flow-on effects of reduced congestion and frustration for other motorists.”

As Jon Reeves of the Campaign for Better Transport puts it so well this beggers belief. He notes that Joyce claims heavier trucks will save “$250 - $500 million a year” and asks:

” Where did he get these numbers from? The trucking lobby? Ratepayers and taxpayers of this country know we will have to subsidise the trucking industry further, by paying for upgraded motorways and roads. This quickly wipes any imaginery saving from Mr. Joyce. We all know that the accidents will even be deadlier. Heavier trucks means more deaths on our roads, fully supported Joyce’s Government. No New Zealander wants to be killed by heavier trucks.This is a bad idea, with no real economic justification, just in the interests of the trucking lobby.”

I’m becoming very disillusioned about the government’s increasing focus on road and it’s almost mocking of those wanting a decent rail service.

Is it becoming too late to hope for some fairness in giving us at least a few crumbs?




  1. TomO says:

    You have to be making this up. I voted for this government and they’re doing good things but are screwing us now on their promises about rail and pandering as Maurice Wiliamson did to the road lobby. (throws up)

  2. Bryan says:

    Nothing would surprise me now. But what can we do. march over the bridge again! I send in those postcards to the govt that the campaign for BT organized. Nothing.

  3. Tim Jones says:

    The Government’s obsession with roads and trucks may make no sense in terms of oil depletion, climate change, sustainable transport or liveable cities, but it makes plenty of sense if you examine the connections between the Road Transport Federation (the trucking lobby) and the Government. Political parties rarely bite the hand that feeds them.

  4. Jon says:


    Just to let you know about 2 weeks ago,in question time in Parliament, the govt raised the issues we highlighted in the postcard campaign. They are now working with NZTA to sort out funding of those projects!

    Your postcard, and opinion expressed by sending it did good.


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