Our costly road cone epi­demic

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

Trav­el­ling around the coun­try it’s been great to see so many road works under way be­fore win­ter sets in, but con­sider the cost of all those big red road cones.

It used to be that just a cou­ple of road cones was enough to im­me­di­ately trig­ger aware­ness by mo­torists that road works were ahead and slow us down. Now they can stretch as far as the eye can see.

It turns out each of them costs an eye-wa­ter­ing $28 (ex­clud­ing GST).

Mul­ti­ply the thou­sands dot­ted around the coun­try, most of them packed to­gether cheek to jowl rather than spread out more cost­ef­fec­tively, and that’s a huge tax­payer in­vest­ment.

Then con­sider how many of those cones stand idle with ab­so­lutely no work go­ing on for days or weeks at a time when the non-essentials could be used else­where rather than buy­ing more new ones to com­pound the national road cone epi­demic.

Surely it’s time for an in­quiry to find out how the epi­demic has got out of hand, whether tax­pay­ers are be­ing well served, and whether more cost-ef­fec­tive rules on how many cones are re­ally needed at each site should be brought in.

The way things are, the prof­li­gate use of cones can be seen as a li­cence to print money for some­body and it’s time to save tax­pay­ers some money.

Yes safety is crit­i­cal, but just how many cones does it take to tell us we’re en­ter­ing a dan­ger zone? CHRIS TURVER Waikanae Beach

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