Dialogue with Waitakere Council on toll concept

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2006 09:50 AM
Transit welcomes dialogue with Waitakere City Council on toll concept
Transit New Zealand has welcomed the opportunity to discuss its toll concept for the Western Ring Route with the Waitakere City Council. In response to community feedback, Transit is investigating possible additional access points for the toll lanes proposed for SH16.
Transit Chief Executive Rick van Barneveld discussed the toll lanes and other local issues with members of the Waitakere City Council’s City Development Committee last week.
“The meeting was a good opportunity to get specific feedback from the committee, and to talk through some of the issues that have been raised in response forms from Waitakere we’ve received so far, including the SH16 toll lanes,” said Mr. van Barneveld.
Transit is consulting on a proposal to help get Auckland moving by using a combination of Government funding and tolling to open the Western Ring Route by 2015. Without additional funding, it will not be possible to open the Western Ring Route until at least 2030.
Part of the toll concept involves creating new tolled lanes along the length of SH16 between Westgate and Waterview, with access from SH18 in the north and the SH20 Waterview Connection in the south. Existing lanes on SH16 would remain untolled, providing the same access to all points along SH16 and the CBD for West Auckland as they do now.
“The concept for the toll lanes is to provide a free-flowing north-south route for through-traffic and to bypass congested areas. To achieve this it’s important to choose access points that do not disrupt traffic flows or overload the lanes with traffic, so that there’s a real benefit to paying a toll,” said Mr. van Barneveld.
“We’re committed to genuine consultation, and are open to changing the toll concept where this is beneficial to the overall outcome. In response to feedback from Waitakere we have started work to consider access to the toll lanes for traffic at Westgate and possible other interchanges along SH16,” he said.
Other issues discussed with the Waitakere City Council’s City Development Committee included the affordability and equitability of tolls, anticipated effects of the toll concept on local roads and free alternative routes.
As part of the consultation process, Transit representatives are meeting with community boards and local authorities over coming weeks to discuss the toll concept for the Western Ring Route.
“Transit has made engaging with the community its top priority. The aim of consultation is to inform the community on our concept and get feedback from across Auckland, so that if there is support for tolling we can develop the best solution for the region,” said Mr. van Barneveld.

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