Friday, July 4, 2008

NZ HERALD: Truckers extend middle finger to Labour Government(UPDATED 9.11 am)


Three trucks block the Auckland motorway at Ellerslie. Photo / Keran McKenzie

Three trucks block the Auckland motorway at Ellerslie. Photo / Keran McKenzie

Updated 8:24AM Friday July 04, 2008
By Mathew Dearnaley

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Truck drivers have started doing laps of Auckland's central city as their protest against increased road-user charges gets under way.

Blockades have been organised in 12 other cities and towns from Whangarei to Invercargill between 7am and 9.30am today.

Traffic was at peak flows about an hour earlier than normal this morning as commuters attempted to avoid gridlock.

In Auckland's CBD, truckies are driving laps from Auckland's Town hall, up Mayoral Drive, Greys Avenue, Pitt Street, Karangahape Road and back onto Queen Street.

The inside lane heading south on Queen Street has been completely blocked by parked trucks and a short while ago an ambulance with lights flashing and siren on was forced to go onto the wrong side of the road.

Protest organiser Chris Carr said: "That is our worst nightmare. We don't want to block those guys."

Organisers met with Auckland City mayor John Banks this morning and thanked him for allowing the protest to go ahead.

Mr Carr said the mayor replied: "There was nothing we could have done to stop you."

Driver Mark McFetridge said the Government should have consulted on the road user charge increase.

"I cart supermarket freight. What do you think that is going to do to your food prices," he said.

Dave Swale, from Swale Earthmovers in Helensville, said diesel prices had doubled in less than three years. "The Government is flogging us to death," he said.

Further south, a convoy of vehicles has been rolling through Penrose on Great South Road, honking their horns and three trucks have blocked the motorway at Ellerslie.

Truckies arriving in Hamilton have been met with support from locals.continued

**Political Animal supports the truckers middle finger to this government and its arrogant attitude towards the lifeblood of our economy, the transport industry, and New Zealanders support them as well.

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