Nats plans to toll existing Akld Harbour Bridge
National plans to toll existing Auckland Harbour Bridge
The National Party will toll the Auckland Harbour Bridge once again if it becomes the Government, Transport Minister Annette King said today.
Ms King said that is the only inference to be drawn from National's failure to refute the comment by its own transport spokesman Maurice Williamson in the New Zealand Herald yesterday that a "dreadful distortion" would be created if tolls were charged on a new tunnel under the harbour while the bridge was kept toll-free.
"National's leaders, John Key and Bill English, have been falling over each other refuting Mr Williamson's comments on road tolls, but when it comes to the question of tolling the Harbour Bridge, there has been a deathly silence.
"That is clearly because both Mr Key and Mr English support Mr Williamson's plan, despite the serious impact a harbour bridge toll would have on tens of thousands of Auckland's residents and on the Auckland economy generally," she said.
"While a new tunnel under the harbour has the potential to breathe new life into Auckland, National's plan to toll the bridge at the same time as tolling a tunnel would have the exact opposite effect."
Ms King said National is trying to cover up its plans for the bridge by introducing a red herring that Labour wants to impose a $10 each way toll on a proposed Transmission Gully route in Wellington.
"That is an absolute fabrication by Bill English. The proposal for a $10 minimum each way toll is actually Mr Williamson's. He is advocating that tolls should be used to fund Transmission Gully, and if that happened, then the minimum toll would have to be at least $10, and probably more. Labour has no intention of ever allowing a toll of that order to be charged.
"Labour has no secret agenda, and it is good to know that, thanks to Mr Williamson, National's secret agenda is becoming less secret by the day."