Gully road toll could hurt Porirua
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.