Let’s stop seeing road and rail as competitors – NRC

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 17, 2022

The National Road Carriers Association is calling on the transport sector to stop seeing road and rail as competitors, following a report by Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

NRC chief operating officer James Smith said he was not surprised, but disappointed by the report which, he says, “presents rail and road as competitors”.

Smith says a Transporting New Zealand news release claims its Road and rail – delivering for New Zealand report produces evidence to counter the ideology that rail can be a serious competitor to road freight in New Zealand.

“They complement each other,” said Smith. “We have an integrated supply chain where all modes play a role and all deserve to be funded appropriately.”

“We are disappointed by Transporting New Zealand’s blinkered view. But it is also      shocking the Government is still pushing the road vs rail barrow,” he said.

“The carbon debate ignores the exponential growth in low or zero-carbon emission road transport. Nothing beats road transport for resilience and given our highly unstable geology with many overdue ‘big ones’ combined with increased adverse weather events the need to invest in a road system that is resilient and productive is critical.

“National Road Carriers has many road transport company members who would use rail more if it was more reliable and cost effective,” said Smith.

“The same members also need good quality roads. The narrative needs to change. Stop taking dollars from one mode to prop up another as it simply defers the cost.”