Gully road toll could hurt Porirua

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua City coun­cil­lors are con­cerned that the tolling of Trans­mis­sion Gully could force mo­torists back on to Porirua roads.

The 27- kilo­me­tre, four- lane mo­tor­way from McKays Cross­ing to Linden is ex­pected to be open in 2020.

A re­port to Porirua City Coun­cil’s Te Komiti last week out­lined the leg­isla­tive process to in­ves­ti­gate tolling.

The plan­ning that the coun­cil has done to this point has as­sumed there will be no tolling of the Trans­mis­sion Gully route.

Te Komiti chair­man Euon Mur­rell said there would be plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to dis­cuss tolling in the fu­ture – and for the coun­cil to adopt a po­si­tion on the sub­ject – but coun­cil­lors still wanted to have their say.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said there were ru­mours about tolling and if it did hap­pen, the ex­pected eas­ing of con­ges­tion on the ex­ist­ing State High­way 1 might not oc­cur.

‘‘ There is a pro­posal that Porirua City would es­sen­tially have the ex­ist­ing road be­tween Linden and Paekakariki as a lo­cal road, with the bur­den of main­tain­ing it taken by our ratepay­ers,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m not at­tack­ing the prin­ci­ple of a toll, be­cause roads need to be paid for, but our ratepay­ers could be­come vic­tims here.

‘‘ We have to have our ideas worked up so we can re­spond.’’

Coun­cil­lor John Burke said mo­torists would cer­tainly use the ex­ist­ing road to avoid pay­ing a toll.

If the Porirua roads had high use, a sub­sidy from NZ Trans­port Agency should be sought, he said. ‘‘It’s in­cum­bent on us to make it clear that we are strongly op­posed to tolling,’’ Burke said.

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