20 Jun 2012

Concern for rural road maintenance

4:11 pm on 20 June 2012

Local councils are warning that rural roads will fall into disrepair unless the Government puts more funding into their upkeep.

Councils say the Government through the Transport Agency, needs to put in more than the $1.2 billion allocated for local roads in the next three years, which is an increase of 2%.

The Government says that it is unlikely to increase much for a decade.

New Zealand local government president Lawrence Yule says many councils, particularly in rural areas, are now cutting their roading budgets.

Local councils maintain 88% of all roads and Southland District has the biggest share with 5000 kilometres.

The district's mayor, Frana Cardno, says the curbs on funding will undermine road maintenance.

"The rate of inflation for roading is 3.5% per annum and by flat lining our funding, this will equate to about an 11% reduction which on maintenance alone is just under $1.5 million. So we will be seeing pot holes."

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says roads will not be allowed to fall into disrepair.