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Kiwi road users let down on road maintenance – AA

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A group of leading transport and infrastructure advocacy organisations say the government must ramp up investment in road maintenance immediately, as data shows an alarming decline in the quality of road surfaces around the country.

The Association of Consultants and Engineers, the Automobile Association, Civil Contractors NZ, Employers and Manufacturers Association, Infrastructure NZ, and the Road Transport Forum - has come together to demand urgent action.

AA General Manager for Motoring Affairs Mike Noon says that investment in road maintenance was wound back heavily in real terms over much of the last decade, with the result being that road surfaces on more and more of the network now need urgent repair.

"Our state highways and local roads are becoming more difficult and more dangerous to drive on - anyone driving around the country over the last few years has noticed it. It’s bad news for road safety, it makes for an unpleasant driving experience, and it’s unfair.

"Road users pay a huge amount in fuel tax and road user charges, and that has only been going up over the last decade. If there’s one thing they expect in return, it’s that roads they drive on will be maintained to a decent standard - right now, they’re being badly let down. Even the best driver can lose control if the road they’re on doesn’t have good grip."

The group says that the government has missed a massive opportunity to get our roads back up to standard, and also to stimulate the economy, through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

The Fund has committed over $620 million towards "shovel-ready" transport projects to help generate economic activity, but none of this has been directed towards road maintenance.

Road Transport Forum Chief Executive Nick Leggett says that, from an economic stimulus perspective, road maintenance offers a number of benefits.

"Road maintenance projects deliver excellent value for money, they’re labour intensive, they’re needed all over the country, and they can start immediately - they are literally ‘shovel-ready’. Investment in road maintenance is an excellent chance to create jobs, improve road safety, and deliver transport benefits that really matter to all New Zealanders."

While the road maintenance budget has increased in the last two years, and further increases are planned, Nick says it’s not enough to address years of under-investment.

"In some areas, road surfaces are so poor they are costing road users in damage to their vehicles. Interestingly, trucking operators have had a five percent increase in road user charges (RUCs) in eight of the past 10 years. Essentially they keep paying more, but getting less value from roads.

"We are calling on the government to invest around $300 million extra per year on road surface repairs for the next three years, sourced from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. And adequate investment needs to continue after that, to make sure we don’t slide back into the hole."

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The BOTTOM LINE is

Posted on 08-09-2020 20:36 | By The Caveman

that the NZTA agreed / allowed HEAVER trucks on to NZ roads - 5-7 years ago - 40 ton went to 55/60 ton. NOT a problem as far as the safety of the TRUCKS was concerned !! HOWEVER the REAL problem IS that the NZ roads were NEVER BUILT to carry 55/60 ton trucks!! And why are the roads "cracking up" - OH the weight of the trucks that NZTA agreed too - ON ROADS that were NEVER BUILT to carry the now NZTA agreed truck weights !!!

Roads Maintenance

Posted on 08-09-2020 19:40 | By socantor01

Absolutely no show of getting adequate funding for proper road maintenance, let alone for new and improved roads while the Greens are there. They seem to want the roads to deteriorate to the stage when we will have to resort to horse-drawn transport and all that that implies.

Shocking

Posted on 08-09-2020 19:05 | By

Our roads are appalling indeed. Driving down Cameron Road to 15th Ave toward Gate Pa is like driving bridges, the entrance onto the expressway from (North bound)Waihi Rd on ramp on ramp throws the steering wheel if you’re not onto it, patches falling out within 48hrs, white lines painted over SO visibly dangerous in the wet. I bet NZTA (or whoever) won’t pay for tyres and wheel alignments. HOWEVER, I must say if you ring TCC they do get them fixed fast and for that I’m grateful.