Road transport operators are echoing the disappointment of Northland councils that the government has scrapped plans to rebuild the road to Auckland.
The National Road Carriers Association said it welcomed the safety measures the government had announced for the region's roads.
But it would have liked to see more progress on upgrading State Highway 1.
Chief executive David Aitken said with the growth of the Northland economy, the number of trucks on the road was only going to increase.
Mr Aitken said if rail was upgraded, it might take some trucks off the road - but not many.
He said the topography and short distances involved meant rail would never be economic for logging companies, or many produce carriers.
Mr Aitken said for everyone's safety the highway between Whangārei and the turnoff to Port Marsden urgently needed upgrading to four lanes.