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Ratepayers will pick up Nat’s roading tab

23 May 2012

Ratepayers will pick up Nat’s roading tab

The Government’s freeze on road maintenance funding to pay for expensive new motorways will cost ratepayers, the Green Party said today.

“It's ironic that the National Government is demanding local councils contains rates, while at the same time shifting greater transport costs onto them,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

Documents released to the Green Party under the OIA show that local roads are getting a smaller proportion of funding, even though they carry a larger portion of vehicle kilometres travelled.

“As a result of the Government’s transport policies, people filling up their tanks and driving on local roads to get to school and work are paying for expensive motorways with their fuel taxes, and will have to pay higher rates to maintain the roads they use on a regular basis,” said Ms Genter.

“Although the Road Maintenance Task Force proposed efficiency gains in their interim report released yesterday, these gains could be completely wiped out by higher oil prices.

“The report clearly states that international oil prices are a major driver of road maintenance costs, and we know that oil prices will be doubling in the next decade.

“Someone will have to pick up the tab for increased maintenance costs, and if it isn’t the Government then it will be ratepayers.

“A shift to smart, green transport, like rail freight, safe walking and cycling, and better urban public transport would reduce road maintenance costs, and protect households and businesses from high oil prices,” said Ms Genter.

Reference:

OIA that shows local roads are getting a smaller proportion of funding:http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/attachment5.pdf

ends

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