Another cost of living increase with road user charges

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 23, 2019

New Zealanders‘ concerns about the cost of living will take a further hit when road user charges go up again in July, says Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett.

“The reality is that it is consumers who will end up paying for the five to six percent increase in RUCs that begin on 1 July this year,” Leggett says.

“These RUC charges add to a road transport operator‘s fixed costs. Trucking companies already operate on tight margins, so additional expenses have to be passed down the supply chain and it is the end consumer that pays.”

Leggett says when you consider all the goods that are transported by truck, including essentials such as food and the exports that keep our economy moving, each additional cost to transporting goods costs every New Zealander.

“Take a look at the Consumer Cost of Living survey and you will see how concerned New Zealanders are about increasing costs of life‘s essentials. No business wants to keep passing on costs, but they will be out of business if they don‘t.

“The RTF 100 percent backs the need to improve New Zealand‘s transport infrastructure. Transport operators accept the high level of RUC is due to the direct relationship the National Land Transport Fund has to the roading network.

“Unfortunately, despite the promises made when the Government announced the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport last year, the reality is that New Zealand‘s roading infrastructure has failed to keep up with a growing economy and greater number of road users. Less is being spent when more should be.”

Leggett says the state of New Zealand‘s roads is a major concern to the road transport industry, not only because poor and congested roads impact on productivity and hasten the wear and tear on vehicles, but also because poor quality roads affect safety.

“There has to be a big picture view here. Road users and the New Zealand public can‘t just keep paying more for everything and getting little in return,” Leggett says.