INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Policy Will See More Trucks On The Road

Published: Mon 27 Sep 1999 05:49 PM
Helen Clark's recent statement on roading sounds like a recipe for more
roads, more trucks, and more damage to the environment, says the Green
Party.
"Labour seems not to have learned from the experience both here and overseas
that building more roads actually generates more traffic," says Green party
Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. "If those new roads are built by profit
making companies trying to repay their investment through tolls, the
incentive will be to maximise the number of vehicles on the road.
"We welcome Labour's indication of more investment in public transport, but
they cannot pursue both strategies at once. If we build more roads we will
undermine public transport and rail."
Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was worried by the suggestion that trucks may
pay less under a Labour government, and light vehicles more.
"Reducing user charges for heavy vehicles will just see more trucks on the
road.
"We believe heavy transport pays less then its share of roading costs.
Diesel users contribute nothing to the consolidated fund which pays for many
of the costs of road transport like policing, justice, health and
environmental costs," she said. "Petrol users - normal motorists - are left
footing the bill.
"Policies should be directed at providing the right incentives for heavy
freight to transfer to rail - not only will that make for better driving
conditions, it will make roads cheaper to maintain."

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