Thursday, March 25, 2010

Longer & Heavier Trucks on our roads?

Despite overwhelming opposition from everyone, it seems, other than the road freight industry – including local councils throughout the Waikato, the Government and its transport agencies have determined that longer (by 10%) and heavier (by 18%) trucks should be allowed on routes they determine, which apparently includes the key route of Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga.

Safety (for other road users) and road maintenance cost issues are obviously not a priority in this particular decision, and it is concerning that local Councils now appear not to have any say over whether such vehicles are allowed to use their roads – initially the proposal was that local authorities would have to approve any routes within their jurisdiction that were available to the new longer/heavier vehicles.

Hamilton City Council was not prepared to consider any such routes unless it was given a guarantee that additional road maintenance costs caused by the bigger vehicles would be met by the users, or the Government. The Government appears to have got round this problem, though its apparent intention just to decree that it’s allowed. At the moment, the likely routes have not been decided, with the NZTA studying this issue.

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