Log levy favoured to offset cost to roading

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Readers had three choices to vote on this week’s webpoll question, “What do you think is the best way to fund the local share of road maintenance costs?”

At 63 percent, or 173 out of 274 votes, the option to introduce a log levy attracted the most votes. Twenty-five percent (68) of respondents wanted to moved to a weight-based funding model, while 8 percent (21) were in favour of keeping the existing system but with a possible higher forestry differential. “Other” amounted to 4 percent, or 12 people.

The log levy was “a no-brainer” for at least one respondent.

“We have more trucks on our roads, and bigger trucks on our roads. The logging trucks are very definitely causing damage.”

Logs are heavy and there are many, said another.

“So that means we need to move them, so . . . obviously.”

The change in road usage since the growth of forestry in this region was a common theme among those who preferred the weight-based funding model.

“Years ago, back country roads were only permitted to trucks carrying a fraction of the weight today’s ones do,” said one respondent.

“I don’t believe the roads of today have been upgraded enough to allow these extremely heavy loads.”

Each tonne of meat, wool, vegetables, fruit and logs does the same damage to the road, said another reader.

“The bigger the volume the more you pay.”

No comments were available from the 8 percent (21) of respondents in favour of the existing system but with a possible higher forestry differential.

Among those who made up “Other”, were at least two who said using rail would reduce costs. One suggested a combination of all three options

“Reduce the road rates; user pays with heavy vehicles paying a regional RUC (road user charges) and a log levy on the port to ensure they contribute fairly.”

Readers had three choices to vote on this week’s webpoll question, “What do you think is the best way to fund the local share of road maintenance costs?”

At 63 percent, or 173 out of 274 votes, the option to introduce a log levy attracted the most votes. Twenty-five percent (68) of respondents wanted to moved to a weight-based funding model, while 8 percent (21) were in favour of keeping the existing system but with a possible higher forestry differential. “Other” amounted to 4 percent, or 12 people.

The log levy was “a no-brainer” for at least one respondent.

“We have more trucks on our roads, and bigger trucks on our roads. The logging trucks are very definitely causing damage.”

Logs are heavy and there are many, said another.

“So that means we need to move them, so . . . obviously.”

The change in road usage since the growth of forestry in this region was a common theme among those who preferred the weight-based funding model.

“Years ago, back country roads were only permitted to trucks carrying a fraction of the weight today’s ones do,” said one respondent.

“I don’t believe the roads of today have been upgraded enough to allow these extremely heavy loads.”

Each tonne of meat, wool, vegetables, fruit and logs does the same damage to the road, said another reader.

“The bigger the volume the more you pay.”

No comments were available from the 8 percent (21) of respondents in favour of the existing system but with a possible higher forestry differential.

Among those who made up “Other”, were at least two who said using rail would reduce costs. One suggested a combination of all three options

“Reduce the road rates; user pays with heavy vehicles paying a regional RUC (road user charges) and a log levy on the port to ensure they contribute fairly.”

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