VIDEO: Road tolls - how we got here

Michael Sergel,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 5:22p.m.

The idea of extra road tolls is being met with reluctance in Rodney, where motorway tolls have already been for almost a decade.

The 7.5-kilometre Northern Gateway Toll Road opened in 2009, to give motorists who were willing to pay tolls, a more direct route with less congestion.

A new multi-agency report from the Auckland Transport Alignment Project has floated the idea of motorway access charges, a CBD cordon or network charges for the whole city.

But Rodney resident Brenda Steele, who chairs the local board, said north Auckland residents wouldn't be keen on having to pay an extra cost.

"The average Kiwi does not get a wage increase every year to compensate for all these new proposed costs."

Ms Steele said the Government should be providing Aucklanders with the same access taxpayer-funded highways as the rest of the country.

She said the Government has already created special housing areas in north-west Auckland, without consulting the public and without building the highways to accommodate them.

"The residents of Rodney have been vocal -- how are they going to manage to move around the existing townships [like] Huapai, Riverhead and Kumeu."

The AA said Auckland motorists will be demanding bang for their buck, before they would accept any new tolls on roads or motorways.

Spokesman Barney Irvine said surveys of AA members suggest many people are willing to pay tolls, if those tolls pay for particular infrastructure they need.

"There's growing openness to new forms of tolling, but people need to see direct benefit in terms of congestion. There's also a lot of scepticism out there.

"If the Government is going to move down this path it's going to have to move very gradually and make sure that it demonstrates to the public that the sacrifices are worth it."

Auckland issues reporter Michael Sergel said tolls were shunned by the Government when they were proposed by an independent advisory board two years ago.

"That board found Auckland will grow much faster than the other main centres, creating a much greater need for roads and rail.

"Most forms of lottery, tolls and taxes were ruled out, but the board found petrol taxes could be introduced affordably and motorway tolls could be even more effective."

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