Taxpayers shouldn't fund dedicated trucking lanes, says motoring expert

A trucking industry request for special lanes reserved for trucks, to be provided at the taxpayers' expense, is "laughable", says the car review website 

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says he's "gobsmacked" by the proposal, and says that if the trucking companies want their own roads, they should pay for these roads themselves. 

"The trucking industry isn't a charity; it's a multi-billion dollar industry that now wants to grow even richer at the expense of the public."

"The reason our roads are so clogged with trucks is because successive governments have deliberately favoured the trucking industry, at the taxpayers' expense."

"In fact, many of these trucks that are clogging our roads don't need to be there. The government's own studies show that it's far more efficient to carry heavy freight by sea and by rail than by road."

"The trucks that congest our roads are mostly there because the government has set up the transport system to serve the trucking industry instead of ordinary motorists."

"For example, the government wants to spend $1.85 billion on Auckland's East-West Link (EWL), which will mainly benefit the trucking industry, instead of a rail freight line, which would achieve a similar result for a mere $58 million. Who's running the government's transport policy?"

Matthew-Wilson says he hopes an incoming government "will sort out the current shambles".

"There will always be a need for trucks on public roads. Trucks provide a vital transport service. However, the transport system needs to be completely reorganised, so that trucks do the jobs that other forms of transport can't do, such as picking up farm produce and delivering building supplies. The rest of freight should be carried the most efficient and safest way. Often, that won't be by truck."

"Our transport decisions should be based around efficiency and safety. The trucking industry's latest request for a taxpayer handout is a step too far."