Government must provide certainty over RONS routes

1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 24, 2018

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley is urging the Government to let communities know their plans for the former Roads of National Significance (RONS) routes.

“Communities around New Zealand that were looking forward to new safe motorways when the second tranche of RONS were announced now have no idea of the future for those routes,” says Shirley. “It is critical that the Government announces its specific intentions as soon as possible.”

Shirley says many of the RONS projects shelved by the Government were planned for stretches of state highway with significant safety issues and it is not unreasonable for local communities and transport operators who frequent those highways to be provided with some certainty over the Government‘s intentions.

“At the moment everyone is in the dark. Highways such as Katikati to Tauranga and Te Hana to Whangarei have seen a number of fatalities in recent times,” says Shirley. “Unfortunately, proposed projects for those routes seem to have been postponed indefinitely, despite the exemplary safety record of the existing RONS.

“While the Government‘s rhetoric is that the RONS projects are wasteful spending and that the new safety programme will be spread more broadly and be more effective, concerned regional communities have yet to find out what that will mean for their stretch of highway. It is time the Government let them in on their plans.”