Get on with it

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - News -

THE GOV­ERN­MENT AND AUCK­LAND COUN­CIL should “just get on with it” when it comes to in­sti­tut­ing con­ges­tion charg­ing or road pric­ing in Auck­land.

at’s the view of the Road Trans­port Fo­rum – re­act­ing to the an­nounce­ment last month that the coun­cil and Gov­ern­ment have agreed on the es­tab­lish­ment of a pro­ject to in­ves­ti­gate “smarter trans­port pric­ing” in Auck­land. is could in­clude con­ges­tion charg­ing.

RTF chief ex­ec­u­tive Ken Shirley says that, while the an­nounce­ment to be­gin in­ves­ti­gat­ing road pric­ing op­tions for Auck­land is “a step in the right di­rec­tion and the road trans­port in­dus­try wel­comes it…. the fact that any de­ci­sion on pric­ing op­tions is still some years o is enor­mously frus­trat­ing.

“e ad­vice of the road trans­port in­dus­try is: ‘Let’s just get on with it.’ Auck­land is se­verely ham­strung by its ap­palling con­ges­tion is­sues, which are now hav­ing a signi cant im­pact on freight move­ments across the en­tire coun­try.

“Road pric­ing through con­ges­tion charg­ing or a sim­i­lar scheme is an ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal tool to help­ing al­le­vi­ate the city’s tra c.

“We know that a high pro­por­tion of peak-time tra c in Auck­land is sin­gle-oc­cu­pancy cars. Road pric­ing in other parts of the world has been shown to have a di­rect im­pact on this as it nan­cially en­cour­ages peo­ple to car­pool or travel at di er­ent times of the day.

“As long as the sys­tem de­vised is fair and eq­ui­table across all road users, the road trans­port in­dus­try is fully sup­port­ive of us­ing pric­ing to help change mo­torist’s be­hav­iour.

“e re­al­ity is, of course, that freight rates will be forced to in­crease with the ad­di­tional cost of road pric­ing for Auck­land trans­port op­er­a­tors. How­ever, as a coun­try with some of the low­est freight rates in the world, most con­sumers will ap­pre­ci­ate the ne­ces­sity of any rate rise,” says Shirley.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Steven Joyce says that new ways of man­ag­ing de­mand on the roads to help ease con­ges­tion need to be con­sid­ered, “along­side our cur­rent multi-bil­lion dol­lar trans­port in­vest­ment in Auck­land. Smarter trans­port pric­ing has the po­ten­tial to be part of the so­lu­tion.”

How­ever, Joyce says that “any de­ci­sion on the use of a de­mand man­age­ment tool like road pric­ing is still some years o .”

T&D

e RTF wants to see some urgency in solv­ing Auck­land’s tra c con­ges­tion prob­lems

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