Na­tional Land Trans­port Pro­gramme dis­ap­points

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - News -

THE RE­CENTLY AN­NOUNCED 2018 2021 Na­tional Land Trans­port Pro­gramme (NLTP) was pre­dictably dis­ap­point­ing for the road trans­port in­dus­try. While the Gov­ern­ment Pol­icy State­ment and rhetoric al­ready used by this Gov­ern­ment meant that our hopes were not high for a good out­come, it’s still frus­trat­ing to see crit­i­cal road­ing projects ig­nored.

Over­all gov­ern­ment spend­ing on the trans­port sys­tem has in­creased for the next three years. The $16.9bil­lion in­vest­ment is an 18% in­crease from the pre­vi­ous three years and a 44% in­crease from 2012-2015. How­ever, 11% less is go­ing to the state high­ways bud­get. Most of the money comes from the Na­tional Land Trans­port Fund, paid for al­most ex­clu­sively by road users.

Nearly $4bil­lion has been com­mit­ted to pub­lic trans­port, rapid tran­sit, and rail. $390mil­lion is also ear­marked for pro­vi­sion of walk­ing and cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture. Now, some of this spend­ing is jus­ti­fied, how­ever clearly there is an el­e­ment of pork bar­rel pol­i­tics in it – sat­is­fy­ing the con­stituency that voted them in. Un­for­tu­nately, the money for these projects comes straight from the back pock­ets of road users and in some cases makes a mock­ery of the user-pays ethos of the Na­tional Land Trans­port Fund.

On the road­ing side of things, the Gov­ern­ment is proud of the fact that the NLTP has com­mit­ted more road­ing in­vest­ment to the re­gions than the cities. Un­for­tu­nately, de­spite this wel­come fo­cus on re­gional road­ing, the Gov­ern­ment has de­cided not to pro­ceed with a num­ber of crit­i­cal state high­way projects.

Ma­jor projects im­por­tant to our in­dus­try, such as the Auck­land east-west freight link al­ter­na­tive, Tau­ranga to Katikati, Christchurch to Ash­bur­ton and Otaki to Levin are

by Ken Shirley Chief Ex­ec­u­tive R T F NZ

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.