Rail pays more of its way than road: NZ report

<p>A New Zealand Government report has found that neither road nor rail users pay for the cost of the networks.</p> <p>The Surface Transport Costs and Charges Study looked at the total charges paid by users of New Zealand’s road and rail system.</p> <p>The main findings of the report were:</p> <p>&#8226 The charges paid by road and rail users do not cover the network costs and that some costs are not paid by anyone at all</p> <p>&#8226 Rail users pay a higher proportion of their costs than road users</p> <p>&#8226 The costs of remedying a problem, for example congestion, are often lower than the cost of the problem itself.</p> <p>Toll NZ has used the report to support a call for a level playing field between rail and road users.</p> <p>The company’s chief executive, David Jackson, said the report showed trucks paid only 56% of their cost, while rail freight paid 80% of its total costs.</p> <p>While the Crown has now taken back ownership, the responsibility for the cost of the rail network still remains with the rail industry and that cost including capital costs must be recovered from the charges to the consumer, Mr Jackson said.</p> <p>"There can be no doubt that if the costs paid by heavy trucks to use the road network were on an equitable basis to rail, a shift of suitable traffic to rail would occur," he said.</p> <br />