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8 July 2016
For immediate release
Bus and Coach Operators Say Bus Weight Rule Changes Don’t Go Far Enough
The bus and coach industry is disappointed by the Government’s new draft rules governing the weight of buses.
The Bus and Coach Association (BCA) has lobbied for decades to get increased weight limits for buses.
The weight limits have never been increased to account for major changes to vehicle design and the increased weight of passengers.
The new rules look set to largely maintain the current ridiculously low weight limits for buses – weight limits that are the lowest in the developed world.
Under the Government proposals bus and coach operators would have to apply for a permit and seek permission from relevant councils and other authorities in order to operate internationally standard buses.
“The weight limits on buses in New Zealand are miles out of step with every other comparable jurisdiction – and the best the Government can come up with is a permitting system to deal with this”, BCA President Alister McDermott said.
“Bus manufacturers are telling us that they’re struggling to build buses that can legally operate in New Zealand”.
“Buses today are much heavier than they were when these rules came in 40 years ago, and rather than adjust the rules to reflect this the Government wants to rely on a permitting regime to address a systemic problem”.
Given this lack of progress, the BCA wants to run a joint study with Government, regional councils, and bus and coach operators to measure the weight of buses during operation.
Such a study would provide unequivocal evidence of the issues bus operators are facing, and provide a starting point for further work on the weight limit of buses.
“Until we can stop relying on a permit system, the low weight limits on New Zealand buses will continue to stop us using the safest, most efficient, and most environmentally friendly vehicles available”, concluded BCA President Alister McDermott.
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Alister McDermott – BCA President – 027 432 3102
Jacob McElwee – Policy Manager – 04 496 4881