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Congestion Pricing Needed Once More Roads Built

Thursday, April 18th, 2002

Treasury's advice to Government on its recent transport package takes a Wellington bean counter's approach to Auckland's highway congestion, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Treasury has apparently not bothered to analyse the major causes of alarm over Auckland's transport," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Auckland has a disjointed and incomplete highway system that's not integrated with public transport.

"Traffic jams occur any time, anywhere at random because vehicles have no alternative routes.

"While we endorse the use of congestion pricing in principle, until the highway network is completed, congestion pricing can't be fully effective.

"We need a combination of congestion pricing and the building of more roads to complete the ring road concept that's been on the drawing board since 1965.

"Once we have a highway network in place that's integrated with a road based public transport system, congestion pricing will be the appropriate method to secure an efficient transport system in Auckland for the long term.

"Congestion pricing without an efficient highway system will merely act another form of tax.

"Treasury doesn't appear to have factored in the present cost of congestion acknowledged to be $1billion a year."

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