New Zealand drivers are continuing to face an ongoing battle with the road it seems, after a record number of complaints about potholes were recorded last year.
Waka Kotahi has confirmed that it received 555 complaints about damage to Kiwi’s vehicles in the first 10 months of 2022, compared to 421 in 2021.
Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand suggests that the Government must act with urgency when it comes to repairing our roads as the damage continues to rise.
“The busy summer holiday period has highlighted just what an appalling state much of our roading network is in,” says Transporting New Zealand chief executive Nick Leggett.
“It’s not just about road maintenance. We also need the government to recommit to new roading capacity to ease the strain on our existing network.”
Leggett also says there seems to be a blame game going on, with previous governments, drivers, and the weather being the go to culprits according to the Government.
Transporting New Zealand also notes a recent tweet from Transport Minister Michael Wood which pins our poor road conditions on trucks.
Wood stated that we’re seeing more potholes on the roads because of 50MAX heavy trucks (up to 53 tonnes).
“This accusation is completely inaccurate. Peer reviewed studies referenced on NZTA’s own website confirm that 50MAX trucks have no more impact on pavement than a standard Class 1 vehicle, due to their additional axle configuration,” says Leggett.
“Even if they did, New Zealand’s road user charges system is calculated based on the vehicle’s impact on road surface, so trucks and heavy vehicles are more than paying their way.
“It’s unhelpful for the Transport Minister to be making these comments, especially as 50MAX trucks can reduce road freight carbon emissions on a tonne/kilometre basis by up to 35 per cent.”
Transporting New Zealand suggests the Government should increase funding for road maintenance and investment in state highways for the sake of our economy.
“Ninety-three per cent of all products in New Zealand are delivered by truck. Doing nothing about the state of our roads will literally bring the domestic economy to a standstill,” Leggett says.