Road freight operators welcome the Government prioritising funding collected for roading being used for roading and projects that deliver economic efficiency says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) GM Policy & Advocacy James Smith.
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Transport Minister Simeon Brown today announced the Auckland fuel tax would end by 30 June and that the Government will move away from fuel excise duty (FED) to road user charges (RUC), and only fund projects with Auckland Council that are a shared priority, cutting out non-priorities such as raised pedestrian crossings.
Smith said the road funding model based on FED is clearly broken and is not bringing in enough to cover maintenance of existing roading. Public private partnerships (PPPs), road tolls, and value capture also all need to be part of the mix to fund desperately needed new highways.
“Road freight operators will want to see a charging system, where all beneficiaries of the road network pay their fair share. While it makes sense that charging is calculated on weight and kilometres travelled, with 93% of goods delivered by road its important this funding is set right so it doesn’t distort the cost of goods.
“Prioritising funding to maintain and build new roads, and reducing congestion via time of use charging will deliver efficiency gains and attracting new funding through PPPs and other means will reduce the total burden being placed on road users.
“Not wasting money on raised pedestrian crossings that get dug up less than a year later can only be a good thing. Restoring efficiency and productivity gains to our transport projects is critical. The Government is signalling its intent to re-balance productivity with the previous Government’s safety and emissions reduction initiatives, which have received too much emphasis without clear evidence to support their effectiveness.”