INDEPENDENT NEWS

Reject Juggernaut Trucks, Buy Back Rail

Published: Tue 14 Aug 2001 12:38 AM
Truck Crash Solution: Reject Juggernaut Trucks, Buy Back Rail
Green Party Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today said a recent spate of heavy truck crashes were clear evidence that the Government should drop proposals to allow bigger trucks on our roads and instead focus on buying back New Zealand's rail network.
Ms Kedgley said proposals to allow trucks five meters longer and 20 tonnes heavier than they currently are - that would be 82 feet long and 62 tonnes in weight - would make trucks harder to stop and control and much more difficult for other motorists to overtake.
"It is becoming increasingly obvious that our roads are not coping with the increasing amounts of heavy trucks that are using them at the moment," said Ms Kedgley.
"The last thing we need is new 82 foot long, 62 tonne trucks on our roads."
Ms Kedgley said the recent truck crashes were a warning of what was just around the corner as a forestry boom takes off in various areas of the North Island over the next five years.
"Forestry is set to explode in New Zealand and unless we can get the freighting of these logs off our public roads and onto our railways, then these types of crashes will become more and more common and more and more New Zealanders will be hurt or killed," she said.
Ms Kedgley said Transport Minister Mark Gosche should drop the proposal to allow bigger and heavier trucks on the road and instead put his energy into buying back New Zealand's rail tracks.
"From both a road safety and an infrastructure perspective, taking back the ownership of our physical rail tracks has never been more important and making our trucks bigger has never looked so absurd."
Ends

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