Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


AA Rejects Need For Congestion Charging

AA Rejects Need For Congestion Charging

New Zealanders need to carefully weigh the benefits before allowing regional or central government to introduce congestion charging during peak times the AA has warned.

“There is a growing amount of comment claiming that congestion charging is the panacea for all transport problems, which is long on theory but rather short on practical implications”, AA Public Affairs Director George Fairbairn said.

Charging may be a disincentive to car commuting, but it could also be an incentive to regional councils to introduce tolls rather than improve roads and access even on chronically congested roads.

“Who benefits from congestion charging? Who loses? Where does the revenue go? How much does it cost to install and run a congestion charging regime? In the enthusiasm for theoretical answers, we have to look at questions like these,” Mr Fairbairn said.

Mr Fairbairn warned that congestion charging could also be the thin end of a tolling wedge which would mean New Zealanders having to pay every time they wanted to drive somewhere.

“Freedom of movement is very important to the New Zealand way of life. Anything that starts to impinge on the basis of ability to pay has to be subject to serious scrutiny. For example does this mean patients going to hospitals in the centre of the city will have to start paying tolls to do so?”

While some commentators drew on overseas examples such as London or Singapore most of those cities were at least three times more heavily populated than our largest urban area, and already had extensive and integrated public transport systems. Few suffered from the geographical constraints of Auckland or Wellington, and the smaller cities used tolling instead of rating for regional government revenue, rather than as well as rating.

“New Zealanders always like to be up with the play, and adopt the latest technology. While there are some people who would love to install congestion charging in our cities for their own professional prestige, overseas the jury is still out on whether this approach really offers practical benefits.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news