The release of the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future document today shows there is no easy answer to the city’s transport needs, says the Automobile Association.
Central Government recently committed to helping fund a range of massive transport projects in the city but Auckland will still have to contribute billions of dollars itself.
The Consensus Building Group (CBG), which the AA is a member of, has spent considerable time investigating the potential ways that Auckland can fund its share of the investment and the public have now had their chance to comment on the options available.
“There is no denying the fact that funding the transport investment Auckland needs is going to be difficult and will need to come from a wide range of sources,” says AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon.
“These are tough choices, and even with the investment that is planned people need to understand that there will still be congestion in Auckland. But if we do nothing, then congestion will increase to the point that the city is unliveable.
“Nobody wants to pay more, but all Aucklanders are going to have to contribute. What needs to be decided now is how and when?”
The CBG has found that there are two long-term funding options for Auckland that could provide the additional money needed for the city’s transport projects.
They both involve increases in rates and fuel taxes, road tolls, further government contributions and increased fare revenue from public transport users.
“A key concern of the AA was that the costs for improving the transport system are shared fairly, so we are pleased that the options being considered involve everyone contributing.”
The difference between the two options is that one approach recommends introducing some form of road pricing as well. Road pricing involves motorists paying tolls on certain roads that can vary depending on the time or day.
“Road pricing is an option but the devil will be in the detail and further work and analysis is required to ensure the fairest and most effective approach,” says Mr Noon.
The CBG has not recommended either option, and it will now be up to Auckland Council, the Government and the people of Auckland to decide which approach to take. The CBG recommended that this decision is made by 2015.
The Government recognised in its recent announcements that Auckland needs to improve both its roads and public transport if it is to thrive, and the AA supports this approach. “Aucklanders use cars to make 80% of their trips. The AA believes Auckland needs to urgently complete the missing parts of the roading network, and we are committed to substantially increasing public transport investment. People need to have the choice of a viable alternative to their cars.” Ends
For more information contact:
Motoring Affairs General Manager
New Zealand Automobile Association
T. +64 4 931 9984
M. +64 021 659 704
E. [email protected]
The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with over one million members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay over $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.