Heavier Trucks by 2020?

The Herald reports:

Heavier trucks could be on the road by 2010 if an amendment is passed following a successful trial, Transport Minister Steven Joyce says.

The amendment would create a permit system allowing some trucks to carry up to 50 tonnes on specified routes. The statutory limit is currently 44.

A trial that ran from last year showed productivity increased between 10 and 20 per cent, trip numbers reduced by 16 per cent and fuel use dropped 20 per cent, Mr Joyce said.

Reduced freight costs would help exporters and New Zealand “grow faster out of the current global recession”.

It would also mean fewer trucks on the road which would ease congestion and frustration, Mr Joyce said.

Personally I’d like to see some kind of cost / benefit / subsidisation analysis done for this, including analysis of the cost of trucking accidents.  An earlier report said hundreds of millions may need to be spent strengthening certain roads.   I also think the “fewer trucks on the road” argument is completely bogus.  If his is true then the trucking industry will will be announcing a 16% reduction in the number of truck drivers, and I can’t see that happening at all.

Wonder if the AA will be coming out with a position on this one?

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