Beth Shelley recently points out that motorists subsidise the trucking industry. She’s right, but she underestimates the extent of the swindle.
Large trucks typically weigh 50 times as much as a car, travel 50 times as far and take up 10 times as much space on the road.
If the average car pays around $200 annual registration, large trucks should be paying around $5 million – and more considering that the vehicle weight: road damage curve is not linear.
It’s surprising that more motorists aren’t furious about this and that proponents of rail don’t point it out.
If trucks had to ‘pay their way’, as trains are required to, then rail would suddenly look viable, repairing tracks and restoring rail services would be a no-brainer, commandeering our rail corridors for trails and carparks (like the one that just stealthily devoured the rail corridor behind Woolworths in Byron Bay) would suddenly look like the rip-offs they are and removing rail bridges (like the one at Binna Burra) so that bigger trucks can wreck local roads would look like the madness it is.
Alistair Bell, Byron Bay