INDEPENDENT NEWS

Members Reject Western Ring Route Tolling Proposal

Published: Thu 30 Nov 2006 09:12 AM
30 November 2006
AA Members Reject Western Ring Route Tolling Proposal
The AA has today released the results of a random Membership poll on Transit's proposal to toll Auckland's Western Ring Route.
Of the 2,651 AA Auckland Members who took part in the email poll, 50.6% were opposed to the tolling proposal, 27.9% supported it and 21.4% either did not know or had no feeling either way.
Members were selected to participate in the poll, based on their Auckland postal codes to ensure a fair geographic spread across the region and enable results to be compared between affected communities.
"The poll clearly shows that of the 2,651 Members who expressed a view, twice as many were opposed to Transit's proposal than supported it," says AA spokesperson Simon Lambourne.
"Opposition was particularly strong from Members who are frequent users of the route; from Members living in the Avondale, Waitakere and Mt Roskill areas; and those Members who are cautious or worried about their finances."
AA Members clearly expressed a preference for the Government to fund the $800 million shortfall required to complete the Western Ring Route either by using the government surplus or by borrowing the money and funding repayments from general taxation. There was little Member support for funding the shortfall through a regional petrol tax or cordon charging.
There was also very little support from AA Members for any toll that lasted beyond 10 years.
Mr Lambourne says "Transit and the Government must consider community support when deciding whether to pursue tolling on the Western Ring Route. The AA's poll is further evidence that such support does not exist - Auckland AA Members have overwhelmingly rejected it."
The AA poll was conducted between 14 and 22 November 2006. The AA's questions were approved by an independent research expert to ensure they were not leading, and the invitation to participate in the poll was accompanied by a web link to Transit's consultation website to ensure that Members had access to information on the tolling proposal.
The AA will be expressing the results of the poll in its submission to Transit on the Western Ring Route tolling proposal.
"There is still time for Aucklanders to have their say on the Transit tolling proposal. Submissions close at 5pm on Monday 4 December. To make a submission go to www.transit.govt.nz " says Mr Lambourne.
ENDS

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