Taking a lead in motorway projects

Published: Fri 10 Nov 2006 02:44 PM
Taking a lead in motorway projects
Auckland City’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee showed its commitment for early completion of the western ring route at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
The committee voted against tolling in favour of alternative funding solutions to complete this second state highway as soon as possible.
Transit is currently consulting Aucklanders on whether they are willing to pay tolls to bring forward completion of the western ring route, a strategic motorway link connecting the north and south of the region via Auckland and Waitakere cities.
The council will consider the committee’s recommendations and submission on the tolling proposal at its meeting on Thursday, 23 November.
Councillor Richard Simpson, the committee’s chairperson, says the committee wants State Highway 20 completed as soon as possible, with a range of funding solutions considered to meet the shortfall.
“We’re determined to see this vital connection between Manukau and Albany given priority. However, it would be unreasonable to introduce tolls while there is still much work to be done on improving the city’s public transport,” says Mr Simpson.
The committee voted in support of early completion of the western ring route through alternative funding sources such as:
introducing a regional petrol tax
introducing a carbon tax
ending the current exemption on diesel
reviewing the road user charges system to ensure compliance
reviewing vehicle registration licensing fees.
The committee noted the importance of free routes and an improved public transport system, including electrification of the rail system. It also requested that Transit explore opportunities for preferential treatment to encourage the use of high occupancy vehicles.
“We want to see Transit and Auckland’s transport agencies working together to ensure much better travel behaviour across the city,” says Mr Simpson.
“We should be providing incentives for people to car pool where possible. This would drastically reduce the number of cars on Auckland roads and make the biggest difference to traffic flow in the shortest time with the least capital commitment.”

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