Chief Operating Officer’s report

April 5, 2021 7:54 pm

RTANZ Chief Operating Officer Simon Carson’s report for April: 

Regional Land Transport Plans (RLTP) are currently under review in many parts of the country. These plans are usually set for between six and 10 years by regional councils, and come up for review every three years for accuracy of tracking and to encourage further engagement from stakeholders.  

Under the Land Transport Management Act, RTLPs then contribute to what the National Land Transport Plan (NLTP) will look like. The regional plans are posted to respective council websites, and distributed by RTANZ senior industry advisors to regional members who have an opportunity to have their say on the direction the plans might take.

Often, the requirements of industry are overlooked by regional authorities reviewing RLTPs, resulting in decisions being made which have an adverse effect on productivity and efficiency of heavy vehicles using regional routes. It is vitally important that the RLTP proposals are given serious consideration by operators and submissions from regions are aligned closely with industry requirements.

Along with the rest of the world, New Zealanders have seen the price of almost every consumer product rise significantly due to the current international situation. New Zealand’s supply chain is based on an efficiency model, it does not have the capacity to handle requirements that turn up with little to no notice, yet road transport businesses are expected to quickly scale up to cater for what is an unsettled international supply chain. 

Containerised traffic through all our major ports is reaching near record volumes and a recent Ministry of Transport stakeholder workshop identified that much of the congestion and market situation is because of the ports. Identification of import and export trends now will help mitigate long-term challenges. Some serious work to develop a national supply chain strategy is required if we are to see any relief from our current freight congestion problems. 

Compliance is continually at the top of the association’s radar. Waka Kotahi NZTA’s Weigh Right program continues to be rolled out through improvements at existing sites, and the construction of new facilities. The CVSCs (Commercial Vehicle Safety Centres) are located on specified heavy vehicle routes and cover 46 per cent of the total freight kilometres travelled in New Zealand. Selected sites are all locations where it is difficult for vehicles to avoid. 

The Rakaia site in Mid Canterbury is no exception to this, and RTA along with other stakeholders for a long time has been adamant that the chosen location for the proposed CVSC is dangerous.

The site for a CVSC (Commercial Vehicle safety Centre) in Rakaia in Mid Canterbury is dangerous, the RTANZ says.

The last discussion I had with Waka Kotahi NZTA was that they were still proposing to build on the Rakaia site between the two bridges, but have now “proposed” a split site with a north and a southbound CVSC to eliminate heavy traffic 

turning across a dangerous and extremely busy part of the highway. Still, even this proposal does not assist HMVs merging onto SH1 in a heavy traffic area and with short merge lanes. RTANZ continues to advocate for members on the National Weigh Right program.

Finally, I would like to take a moment to observe the passing of an industry stalwart from Region 5. On March 20, we lost David Roy Potter after a short illness. Dave Potter, 75, provided many years of service to RTA members with his time at the association, and working with industry in other roles. As a respected RTANZ Life Member and a 2015 inductee into the Road Transport Hall of Fame, Dave will be missed by all who knew him.

(You can read more about Dave in in Lisa Shaw’s column on p29 of RTANZ News on this website.)