Group looks at so­lu­tions to trans­port woes

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By SCOTT MOR­GAN and JESS ETHERIDGE

The pub­lic faces a stark fi­nan­cial choice about how to fund new trans­port projects in Auck­land.

A group of busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers, con­vened by mayor Len Brown to give its view on fi­nanc­ing projects to solve the city’s trans­port cri­sis, is call­ing for feed­back on two fund­ing op­tions.

Higher rates, fuel taxes and a re­gional fuel tax are one op­tion pro­posed by the Con­sen­sus Build­ing Group.

The other is im­ple­ment­ing road pric­ing, which could in­volve charg­ing to use the mo­tor­way.

Group chair­man Ste­wart Milne says Auck­land faces a $12 bil­lion trans­port fund­ing short­fall by 2041 if noth­ing is done.

‘‘Un­less there is cer­tainty, we are just go­ing to con­tinue talk­ing about things.’’

Projects like multi-storey park and ride car parks could be pos­si­ble if there is enough fund­ing.

He ac­knowl­edges both pro­pos­als are con­tro­ver­sial and will need po­lit­i­cal sup­port from the Auck­land Coun­cil and the Gov­ern­ment. A re­gional fuel tax and mo­tor­way charges have al­ready been re­jected by Trans­port Min­is­ter Gerry Brown­lee.

But Em­ploy­ers and Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Kim Camp­bell says the city will suf­fer if noth­ing hap­pens.

‘‘Fi­nally when the place comes to a grind­ing halt, that’s when peo­ple leave. We don’t think that’s a re­spon­si­ble view.’’

And the AA’s Simon Lam­bourne says all par­ties in­volved need to en­gage with the process be­fore progress can be made.

Mr Brown says Auck­land faces a ma­jor chal­lenge over the next decade.

‘‘Our pop­u­la­tion is pro­jected to grow by as much as one mil­lion, with around 60 per cent of that com­ing from our ex­ist­ing pop­u­lace.

‘‘The Con­sen­sus Build­ing Group was set up to pro­vide us with the best pos­si­ble in­de­pen­dent ad­vice on how we can re­spond to this chal­lenge.

‘‘Their re­port is an im­por­tant next step in the dis­cus­sion about how to fund im­prove­ments to Auck­land’s trans­port in­fra­struc­ture.’’

But five coun­cil­lors, Dick Quax Sharon Ste­wart, Cameron Brewer, Ge­orge Wood and Calum Pen­rose, say the an­nounce­ment is just a dis­trac­tion from the de­bate go­ing on the uni­tary plan.

The pub­lic is be­ing asked to sub­mit feed­back on the group’s pro­pos­als be­fore it makes its rec­om­men­da­tions to the coun­cil in July.

Go to keep­auck­land mov­ing.org.nz.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.