Road based transport

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Introduction New Zealanders’ now spend four hours and forty five minutes driving per week compared to four hours 20 years ago. In 2004-2008, 84% of the trips made by New Zealanders was by motor vehicles and same percent of the distance travelled to work was by motor vehicles as well. Trucks moved 83% of the freights around New Zealand, whilst trains account for 13% and sea transport for 4%. New Zealanders have become very reliant on motor vehicles (mainly car and van) as their main means of transport and also on road based transport for moving freights. With freights demand forecasted to increase by 50% over the next 30 years and more car ownership, reliance on road transport seems to keep increasing. Also Transport makes 33% of New Zealand’s GNP in comparison to typical 15-20% of other developed countries. This has led government fund largely on development of land based transport infrastructure as opposed to other forms such as railway, aviation and sea transport which aren’t as accessible and economic. Current government spends $3 billion each year on roads around the nation and is spending $12 billion on roads of national significance over the next 10 years. This hugely out passes funding on any other forms of transport like sea, railway and aviation. Freight Transport New Zealand’s freight movement is forecasted to increase by 50% over the next 30 years with 75% increase around Auckland and 73% in Canterbury area. This will put enormous pressure on current transport infrastructure if not developed and maintained to meet the future demand. At the moment, the state highway network is only 12% of the total roading network but it constitute almost half of the total vehicle kilometres driven each year and around two third of the ... ... middle of paper ... ...ntres, ports and airports. $3 billion per year funding on the roads around New Zealand has made highways safer, efficient and well connected to local and regional roads. Safe highways has also reduced the number of casualties on roads which reduces the social cost related to accidents. There are other regional projects that government should also prioritise though. Public rail transport for Auckland and Wellington could have large impact on the life and economy of these regions. Although, small percentage of New Zealand use bikes and walking for commuting short distance, however this behaviour change can be achieved by funding traffic calming in residential areas and improving bike lanes. Obviously, New Zealanders are more reliant on road based transport but that doesn’t mean that government should concentrate its focus just on road based transport. Bibliography

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