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Poor roads hurting regional businesses


Author: Cie'Jai LeggettDate: 03 April 2012

More than 80 per cent of businesses outside of Sydney have been forced to take their vehicles off road due to wear and tear for at least one day, according to the annual NRMA BusinessWise survey.

The NRMA BusinessWise survey of almost 300 businesses in regional NSW and the ACT found more than two-thirds believe the quality of regional roads had gotten worse, with almost half (48.5%) reporting increased operation costs of up to $1000 due to the poor quality of roads.

The BusinessWise survey was conducted largely of small businesses, 40 per cent had less than five employees and 20 per cent employed between six and 10 staff. Almost 10 per cent (7.8%) employed more than 100 people.

The survey found that pot holes (93.6%), not enough overtaking lanes (61.7%) and poorly marked lines (36.8%) were listed as the greatest concern for BusinessWise Members.

Of those BusinessWise Members surveyed three quarters (76.6%) believed freight needed to be moved off country roads and onto rail.

NRMA BusinessWise provides roadside assistance and motoring support to over 21,000 fleet running businesses in NSW and the ACT.

The NRMA Businesswise congestion survey also found:
  • 77 per cent of businesses want the Government to reduce the cost of motoring
  • 64 per cent said traffic congestion had increased
  • 53 per cent said traffic congestion had contributed to increasing fuel costs
  • 46 per cent said the quality of main roads leading into town centres had gotten worse
  • 30 per cent said they had made changes to their business due to traffic congestion.

NRMA Director Wendy Machin said the poor quality of regional roads was hurting the bottom line of local business owners.

"Business in regional Australia is tough enough without the added burden of bad roads," said Ms Machin.

"The condition of NSW roads is forcing business owners to bear additional costs that they wouldn't have to pay if our regional roads were in good condition.

"Given the importance of roads to the state's economy it's time the Government got serious about fixing regional roads."

The NRMA would also like to see the money raised from the weight registration tax do more to improve local roads.

"The State Government's weight tax continues to collect more money proportionately from regional motorists yet those motorists aren't seeing the benefit," Ms Machin said.

NRMA BusinessWise Members would also like to see the Government address increasing fuel costs (78%), vehicle registration costs (64%) and green slip costs (51%).

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