Cunliffe says “Truck off”

April 15th, 2014 at 1:32 pm by Jadis

* a jadis post as DPF lost on the mountain for days and days.  I could have posted earlier but to be honest I have a life of family, work, work, voluntary work, etc that means Kiwiblog got a lower priority

 

Well, it seems that and Labour were so concerned about Kiwiblog’s hibernation that they felt the need to launch a nutty ‘waste of time’ policy.

What the is Cunliffe thinking with his ultimate ‘truck off’ policy?   This is real Matt ‘gamechanger’ McCarten stuff.

Under the transport proposals, trucks would not be able to drive in the fast lane in three or four-lane motorways. The move was designed to reduce congestion because trucks had a lower speed limit of 90km/h.

Cunliffe’s big speech today (the one where he is avoiding the House (despite multiple political angles he could run) and the speech that wasn’t even properly advised to media!) is titled ‘Leading and managing our economic future’ and this ‘Truck off’ policy” is his goldmine announcement to (his words) ‘leading and managing our economic future’.

OK, so here’s a few wee things for Mr Cunliffe to think about:

1. Trucks, yes those heavy ones, are very important to New Zealand’s economy.  There’s an awful lot of them particularly in the Golden Triangle (Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga) that move goods to port for export, that move goods from suppliers to customers, and that employ thousands of New Zealanders.

2. The road rule is already 90km maximum for heavy trucks (as Cunliffe says himself) and the Police can (and do) tell off truckies if they could use a different lane.  The answer is not more legislation Mr Cunliffe.  The answer is if someone is breaking a rule then Police it.  Somehow I don’t think you’ll be asking the Police to up their focus on this area… or will you?

3. Sometimes truckies use the so-called fast lane because they have a turn coming up.  At what point does Mr Cunliffe propose the lane ban takes place? 100m? 50m? Will he then take responsibility for any crashes that take place as trucks try to keep with the lane ban policy and wipe out a car or two in the process?

4. We need trucks to get our goods to retailers and customers and from suppliers.  Manufacturing relies heavily on trucks.  I thought you cared about manufacturing Mr Cunliffe.  How about our primary production industries?  They need trucks too?  It seems you want to drive down the number of trucks on our roads.  Does this mean the next big policy from Labour is a massive investment into rail.  Hmmm… lots of New Zealand isn’t electrified so it’ll either be dirty diesels or millions and millions of investment in rail infrastructure and rolling stock too  Who is paying for that, Mr Cunliffe?

5. Your policy only applies to three and four lane motorways.  There’s quite a few of those in Auckland but very few in other parts of the country.  You talk about:

“There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on public holidays like Easter and Anzac Weekend fun can quickly turn to frustration when the family realises the rego for the has expired or there’s a big truck hogging the fast lane,” he said.

Umm… Aucklanders generally get held up on one or two lane highways on their way to the Coromandel or the North for their Easter break.  They are more likely to get held up by a caravan or a car and trailer (or boat) than they are a heavy truck.  Most heavy trucks set off pretty early in the day (mine must be one of the few families that can be organised pre-8am) and there is significantly less heavy truck traffic on statutory holidays.  Methinks your holiday quip out of the ‘feels about right’ file rather than the fact file.  PS – the Herald doesn’t help your case by using a file photo of a two lane motorway.  And, FFS, if we are keeping registration (to offset road use/damage) then surely Dad or Mum can create their own checklist of making sure it is done before the holiday rather than legislate away?  I dare you to cut the fees altogether – the administrative churn is probably higher than the actual fee when you get below $35.

6. I hope you’ve checked and re-checked your figures.  It’d be so embarrassing if you took another policy at face value and the costings or the reach or the unintended consequences weren’t considered.

 

 

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41 Responses to “Cunliffe says “Truck off””

  1. thor42 (900 comments) says:

    What a contrast.

    Key and the Nats concentrating on the **big** issues with their housing announcement.

    Cunners making a silly announcement about trucks using the fast lane (which can indeed be solved with a bit of policing as suggested).

    What a waste of space Cunners and Labour are.

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  2. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    “Tojo” once more proving himself to be a “Goose”. Bet the fairies at Rainbow Room are loving this!

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  3. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    This has been done before in other countries and has been shown to improve traffic flow and speed. Not sure that it would work inside Auckland, as it might make it more difficult to exit.

    Complaining about this is silly. It benefits most truck drivers as well (i.e. those who already drive responsibly).

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  4. Keeping Stock (10,088 comments) says:

    Sounds like a #VanBan to me :D

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  5. geoff3012 (51 comments) says:

    VANBAN….ha ha

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  6. emmess (1,367 comments) says:

    We don’t have fast lanes on motorways in New Zealand, only overtaking lanes on Expressways.

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  7. jawnbc (44 comments) says:

    When is Farrar back? *yawn*

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  8. Huevon (184 comments) says:

    When I had a look at the Herald article, I could swear it was something from the Onion/Civilian.

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  9. kowtow (7,581 comments) says:

    I thought this was covered already in one of the most basic rules of the road…….

    keep left unless overtaking.

    How can this be a game changer?

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  10. wreck1080 (3,721 comments) says:

    I agree in that this is rats & mice policy hardly worthy of the leaders attention.

    Regardless, trucks don’t really need to using the fast lane due to their lower speed limit. And, they do cause slow downs.

    I have never seen a truck being pulled over and told to use the slow lane. Not sure what thats about.

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  11. slijmbal (1,210 comments) says:

    Whilst it’s common to ban trucks from the fast lanes on motorways of 3 or more lanes in many countries these countries have an extensive and decent motorway system where 3 or more lanes is the norm. I was surprised to see trucks in the fast lane in Auckland when I arrived but the moment I got out of Auckland I realised that such a rule was a waste of time for miniscule effect.

    @jadis
    “2. The road rule is already 90km maximum for heavy trucks (as Cunliffe says himself) and the Police can (and do) tell off truckies if they could use a different lane. The answer is not more legislation Mr Cunliffe. The answer is if someone is breaking a rule then Police it. Somehow I don’t think you’ll be asking the Police to up their focus on this area… or will you?”

    I never knew this as this is definitely never followed nor policed in my 20 odd years of driving several hundred thousand kilometres around NZ. I’ve met plenty of trucks doing 100k/hr + not slowing down traffic and honestly thought they did not have any speed restrictions different to normal traffic.

    But as you say, trucks are not the issue outside of Auckland. It is normally, in order of slowing others down, the motorhome driven by a foreign tourist, the car and trailer and the caravan (luckily very few of the last). One does occasionally get stuck in behind a heavy truck e.g. logging on a hill but not that frequently.

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  12. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    I agree in that this is rats & mice policy hardly worthy of the leaders attention.

    I don’t know. I’d like to see politicians do more of this sort of thing.

    Speaking personally, the biggest impact on my personal welfare is widespread anti-social behaviour, such as aggressive drivers, people texting while driving, people who walk their dogs without leads or let their animals wander the neighbourhood, and slow vehicles blocking the road (including people driving giant tractors on well used roads at peak times).

    A government that aggressively pursued the 30% of the population who think the rules don’t apply to them would get me voting again.

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  13. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Whilst it’s common to ban trucks from the fast lanes on motorways of 3 or more lanes in many countries these countries have an extensive and decent motorway system where 3 or more lanes is the norm.

    Given that the expressway is going all the way to Hamilton in the next few years, I think it would be fine.

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  14. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    That’s going to mess up the Auckland Harbour Bridge clip-ons. For years we’ve been trying to keep the heavy traffic in the middle lanes, but now Cunliffe wants to force them out on to the clip-ons.

    But really… Keep left unless overtaking has been a law since around 1908 when the first car was imported to the country. And Wellington has about five kilometres in total of 3 lane road. This is a policy that applies to a couple of sections of Auckland motorway and just re-iterates an existing law. Then the whole caravan thing is just bizarre. Maybe Cunliffe thinks the missing million voters that the Left are obsessed by are all caravan owners, and the reason they’ve not voted is because they’re pissed off having to register their caravans.

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  15. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    Cun’liffe shoots, and misses. I’m among those who get frustrated with slow traffic, but trucks are by no means the big offenders. By far the main offenders are car drivers who sit on 10k below the speed limit until they hit they hit the passing lane, at which point they find the accelerator and speed up so nobody can pass. The problem for Cun’liffe is these people are low achievers (like people who deliberately walk slow across a pedestrian crossing to make motorists wait), so any announcement that there would be more aggressive policing targeting these drivers (since it’s already an offence) would upset the core Labour vote. Mind you, upsetting AWU members isn’t the smartest move either.

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  16. Pete George (22,731 comments) says:

    While banning trucks from the fast lane they are promoting caravans making quicker getaways to their holiday destination – with the same 90 kph speed limit as trucks.

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  17. Than (425 comments) says:

    Even as a small “feel good” policy I suspect this will fall flat. Trailer owners are only about a third of all households, and I doubt many non-trailer owners will appreciate subsidising their road use. And as others have already said, trucks are well down on the list of vehicles that slow traffic.

    The solution to slow traffic is new and better roads. Good luck getting that to happen with the Greens as part of government.

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  18. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    It only costs about $30 per annum to register a trailer, so I doubt it would be a vote catcher. Most lefties scrounge the use of a trailer, or pinch one, so they won’t give a stuff.

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  19. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Cunliffes a total idiot and so is McCarten, they deserve some pretty long term ricdiculing over this. The holiday highway which they call it would be the best means of reducing traffic flow, so they are now hypocritical cretans

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  20. Positan (383 comments) says:

    Cunliffe seems hell-bent on proving and underlining how out of touch he is with present day realities.

    Of course, it all only serves to indicate how completely unsuited he is to fulfill his grandiose aspirations – let alone convince any thinking person he was remotely worthy of their support.

    The one-time Labour supporters who could think have long since extracted themselves from his coat tails.

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  21. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    martinh>The holiday highway which they call it would be the best means of reducing traffic flow, so they are now hypocritical Cretans

    Good point. At the moment, traffic heading north out of Wellington is often a crawl through Kapiti. National are currently sorting this out by building the expressway. The expressway will allow trucks and caravans to keep left, while other traffic passes them at a safe speed and without the delays entering Paraparaumu, Waikanae, and Otaki. Cunliffe has promised to scrap this road, even though it is being built now. So Cunliffe is sentencing all Wellingtonians to perpetual traffic delays. While it is nice if trucks keep left, that isn’t much use if Labour has made sure you’ll only ever have a single lane road.

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  22. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    NewstalkZB have come to “Tojo’s” rescue, giving this pathetic attempt to catch votes and gain traction prime time space, even an interview with the goose as well. Give us a break media, he is a loser, and a dishonest one to boot!

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  23. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (782 comments) says:

    “Labour’s Transport policy will lift our poll ratings by at least 5-6%” – Chief of Staff Matt and Deputy Manning.

    Game over Key, look for a role in Oravida.

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  24. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Davidp
    I didnt realise they were going to scrap the Kapiti expressway too. What a backward bunch of idiots, time to dust off my campaigning suit

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  25. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    martinh… Listed as a promise here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11119023 . I assume “scrap” means he is going to tear up the bits that will have been built by that stage. Perhaps put a plough through the surfaces and then leave the corridor vacant wasteland.

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  26. Harriet (4,495 comments) says:

    “……There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on public holidays like Easter and Anzac Weekend fun can quickly turn to frustration when the family realises…… there’s a big truck hogging the fast lane,” ….”

    Only a fucken nobody could come up with this non issue! :cool:

    If you drive at 100k an hour compared to 90k you save yourself 6 minutes an hour.

    24 minutes if you drive for 4 hours[400kms].

    Fuck all people drive 400ks at Easter or Anzac weekends.

    So SOME people are disadvantaged by about 6-12 minutes[100-200ks] – or 12-24 minutes for a ’round trip’ —— over an entire 3-4 day National Holiday period!!!!!!!

    Labour needs a perminent holiday from Cunliffe and Mccarten. :cool:

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  27. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The solution to slow traffic is new and better roads.

    It often isn’t.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_demand

    I’m not sure this policy is a good one, but it does work in other countries, so it’s worth talking about if nothing else. Summary dismissal is just silly partisanship.

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  28. Vader (7 comments) says:

    Would this ban trucks going from the Northwestern to Southern motorway? Have to be in lane 3 of the Northwestern. I guess there might be benefit between Lincoln, Constellation and Manukau on the odd occasion they’re not already blocked up.
    Go regional development policies?

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  29. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Would this ban trucks going from the Northwestern to Southern motorway? Have to be in lane 3 of the Northwestern. I guess there might be benefit between Lincoln, Constellation and Manukau on the odd occasion they’re not already blocked up.
    Go regional development policies?

    No.

    My guess is that trucks would be restricted to the slow lane outside of heavily urban areas. Making trucks stick to the slow lane is proven to free up traffic and make it run faster, except in heavily built up areas where the trucks block people from exiting. Looking at the Waikato Expressway, only 5 years from completion, I would think it a good rule to keep trucks in the slow lane between Hamilton and Auckland.

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  30. Nostalgia-NZ (4,896 comments) says:

    ’3. Sometimes truckies use the so-called fast lane because they have a turn coming up.’

    Right hand turns on NZ Motorways????? I guess Jadis got a little excited and thought he was in America turning off to Disney Land.

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  31. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Davidp
    Thanks for the link, no wonder they a polling only 30%.
    Everyone i know who lives in Kapiti supports the road, i suppose its only some people near the new corridor and the sandle wearing labourites in Wellington who never head out that way that are against it

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  32. Eisenhower (137 comments) says:

    2.1 of the Land Transport Regulations already has provision for a $1000 fine and 150 demerits for failing to allow impeded traffic to pass.

    Does Labour not bother to read existing law? Reminds me of when Ralph Wiggum thought he found an artefact.

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  33. Elaycee (4,285 comments) says:

    Right hand turns on NZ Motorways???

    Actually, there used to be one such scenario in Auckland (the old Nelson St exit northbound on SH1) where anyone wanting to use it had to get into the third lane (of three) to make the turn. It was the scene of many accidents – hence the change to a new off ramp / left lane Nelson St exit a few years ago.

    IIRC, the LTSA said at the time the ‘old’ scenario was the only one of it’s kind in NZ… ???

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  34. OTGO (508 comments) says:

    If he said he was going to raise the open road limit to 120k and selected town highways to 70k I might consider voting for the prick.

    Actually on second thought even that wouldn’t do it.

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  35. JC (904 comments) says:

    But but but.. only rich pricks own cars, trailers and caravans and only those ripping off the poor can afford to head for the beach in the holidays.

    Cunnys promises will increase *inequalty*.

    JC

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  36. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (782 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is out to prove that he has no brains. Thank God for that!

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  37. Nostalgia-NZ (4,896 comments) says:

    IIRC, the LTSA said at the time the ‘old’ scenario was the only one of it’s kind in NZ… ???

    It’s mitigating feature was that the north and south lanes were separated by some distance and height, but slowing down to take the exit tended not to be appreciated by those proceeding onto the harbour bridge leading to a good few accidents. Probably won’t see that experiment again.

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  38. wat dabney (3,655 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s ‘Cones Hotline’ moment.

    The Cones Hotline was a telephone hotline introduced by the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom John Major in June 1992 to allow members of the public to enquire about roadworks on the country’s roads and report areas where traffic cones had been deployed on a road for no apparent reason…

    The hotline was widely seen as being a waste of government resources, costing several thousand pounds per year to run. It was quietly disbanded in September 1995, having fielded a total of fewer than twenty thousand calls.

    The service did inspire the term ‘cone syndrome’, to describe a piece of legislation made by a government that seems to serve no real purpose.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cones_Hotline

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  39. Than (425 comments) says:

    I’m not sure this policy is a good one, but it does work in other countries, so it’s worth talking about if nothing else.

    It is only worth talking about if slow trucks are a significant problem. I haven’t seen any evidence (even anecdotal) that this is the case. Most truck drivers don’t stick to the 90 km/h limit, and the few who do are dwarfed by the number of campervans, cars towing trailers, and simply timid drivers who drive at under 100 km/h.

    This is a solution searching for a problem, and it’s an imperfect solution at that.

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  40. Rich Prick (1,532 comments) says:

    Wow! I’m overwhelmed by the extent to which I’m underwhelmed by Labour policy so far. I only hope this policy also applies to Toyota Fartlets doing 80km/h in the inside lane too.

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  41. Andrew61 (3 comments) says:

    There are no fast lanes in New Zealand they are all 100km/hour also it would be my guess that most of the truckies who would be driving for wages would be labour voters but maybe not any more, way to go Dave piss off your own supporters.

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