Government ignoring rural roads - Labour
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 7:50a.m.
Councils in the lower South Island are struggling to maintain rural roads because the Government's pouring money into big motorways.
Labour's Phil Twyford says rural mayors are frustrated and angry that they're having to put essential maintenance on hold because they can't afford it.
“The Government likes to say that its big motorway projects are about improving New Zealand’s export supply chain – well the export supply chain starts at the farm gate,” he says.
Mr Twyford says logging and dairy trucks are having to take detours to avoid bridges which are unsafe because councils can't afford to fix them.
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16/07/2012 10:45:29 a.m.
Lets be honest, local councils dont like spending money on rural roads.Take the multi-million dollar bungles like the Stadium in Otago which was partly council funds. This has helped make all funding tight. Gerneally rural roads have been given lower priority, and with added funding problems like bailing out the stadium - it has made rural roads even less priority.Eg locally here we had a bridge that was considered sub-standard and needing replacement as much traffic had to be diverted due to the bridge being unsafe with any larger loads. It still took over 20 years before that bridge had the required maintenence - ie was replaced! And that was much further north in the Waikato. Rural road funding is nothing new, it hasn't been a high priority as the number of people affected is lower, so the more numerous noisey urban locals get more voice than rural voices.
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