EDITORIAL: Well pay for road use and sort out the barriers

By: Chris Smith


Incremental pricing registration has been an idea toyed with by the industry for a very long time. Under an incremental price

Incremental pricing registration has been an idea toyed with by the industry for a very long time.

Under an incremental price scheme, transport operators can carry more mass above national limits by paying road agencies or local councils for extra damaged caused to road infrastructure.

People are heavier, their luggage is heavier and busses in general are heavier with Euro 4 engines.

The real question is why are these roads and bridges so obviously flawed?

Engineers should be engineering roads and bridges to cope with new technology, longer, heavier vehicles capable of moving more freight and more people.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) released a report on a feasibility study into distance charging, recommending Intelligent Access Program (IAP) the most effective option in measuring how far heavy vehicles travel.

The IAP should extend to incremental road pricing, according to a new report, which outlines major problems stifling moves towards a pay-as-use system.

The report claims IAP is less costly than other approaches, "such as measuring the number of trips via self-reporting verified by transport documents", but will require "significant legislative changes to be applied for charging purposes".

But while claiming there is strong industry support to replace the current charging system, the NTC concedes there are barriers to establishing an effective new model.

Bus industry insiders suggest the current permit system would easily break down these perceived barriers and allow many operators to run legally.

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