Auck­land con­ges­tion charges are likely

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARY FITZGER­ALD

An agree­ment be­tween Auck­land Coun­cil and cen­tral gov­ern­ment has been struck to at­tempt to end our big­gest city’s grid­lock woes.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges and Auck­land Mayor Len Brown signed the Auck­land Trans­port Align­ment Pro­ject re­port on Septem­ber 15.

The re­port, a joint pro­ject be­tween the coun­cil, the Min­istry of Trans­port, Auck­land Trans­port, the NZ Trans­port Agency, the Trea­sury and the State Ser­vices Com­mis­sion, rec­om­mends a strate­gic ap­proach for trans­port in­vest­ment over the next 30 years. It out­lines plans to deal with the ex­tra 700,000 peo­ple that Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion over that time and a pro­jected in­crease in freight on Auck­land roads of 78 per cent.

The re­port rec­om­mended con­ges­tion charges over a rise in prop­erty rates to help fund needed in­fra­struc­ture and a net­work of toll sys­tems that vary in price de­pend­ing on time and lo­ca­tion. They are ex­pected to be in­stalled by 2028. ’’Ap­ply­ing charges across the whole net­work also re­duces the like­li­hood of un­in­tended con­se­quences re­sult­ing from di­vert­ing traf­fic, as prices can be fine­tuned across the net­work to sup­port de­sired out­comes,’’ the re­port read.

Coun­cil­lor Bill Cash­more said the pack­age is ex­pected to cost about $24 bil­lion over the next decade. About $20 bil­lion is ex­pected to be avail­able un­der cur­rent trans­port fund­ing plans, he said. ’’The coun­cil and the gov­ern­ment will now con­sider op­tions to ad­dress the $4 bil­lion gap ahead of the next round of statu­tory fund­ing de­ci­sions in 2018.’’

The first projects in the pack­age are ex­pected to be de­liv­ered be­tween 2018-2028 and in­clude the North­west­ern Busway, new or up­graded ar­te­rial roads to en­able green­field growth, and up­graded air­port ac­cess via State High­way 20B. Longer-term projects in­clude im­proved ac­cess to the port and Grafton Gully, new roads to Kumeu and Pukekohe and widen­ing the north­ern mo­tor­way.

Bridges said the re­port rep­re­sented ‘‘align­ment in Auck­land like we have never had be­fore in trans­port’’.

Em­ploy­ers and Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Kim Camp­bell wel­comed the re­port, but said pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ships or in­fra­struc­ture bonds also needed to be con­sid­ered, he said.

SEAN SHADBOLT

About $24 bil­lion will be needed over the next decade to de­liver the agreedupon trans­port projects.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.