Dodgy roads costly for NSW businesses

POOR road surfaces on regional highways and roads is costing some New South Wales businesses as much as $1000 per week in vehicle repairs.

The NRMA's annual BusinessWise survey found dodgy roads outside the cities was also leading to a loss of productivity.

Of the almost 1000 businesses surveyed around two-thirds said they regularly drove on regional roads, with 57% of these reporting the poor quality of regional roads had contributed to increased costs to their vehicles.

Three in 10 businesses said their vehicles spent one day off the road because of damage done by bad regional roads, while the same number spent "a few days" but less than one week off the road.

The NRMA, as part of its national Demand Better Roads federal election campaign, called on both sides of politics on Monday to commit to an increase in funds to fix regional roads.

It wants a $30 million increase in funding for the Black Spot program to $90 million a year, as well as a tripling of the Roads to Recovery funding program for NSW councils to $300 million a year.

NRMA president Wendy Machin said some regional and local roads were in desperate need of funding.

"Regional roads are bad and getting worse and they are hurting the state's regional economy and this must stop," Ms Machin said on Monday during a tour of the Pacific Hwy on the NSW North Coast.

"The funding requests from the NRMA today aren't huge, but they will make a massive difference to the lives of people who drive these roads every day and the businesses bleeding money because of the impact these roads are having on their operational costs."

The NRMA is calling on the community to sign its petition to local members of parliament, which can be accessed at http://www.demandbetterroads.com.au.



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