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Government must not turn motorists into cash cows

Government must not turn motorists into cash cows

ACT welcomes the Government’s commitment to revenue-neutral road pricing in Auckland, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT has long said that road pricing should make life easier for commuters, not turn them into cash cows. So ACT will hold the Government to account over its promise that road pricing won’t raise more revenue.

“Any revenue raised by road pricing should be offset with cuts to petrol tax. In fact, an effective road pricing system should give motorists the chance to save money by travelling outside of rush hour. Currently people travelling off-peak are getting screwed by petrol taxes despite putting less pressure on infrastructure.

“In addition to being revenue neutral, Auckland’s road pricing system should be world-leading. We should use recent and emerging technologies, including GPS tracking of traffic, to effectively price roads in real time, so pricing is self-regulating and booth-free. This gives people constant incentives to share rides or travel off-peak, plus options to pay for on-peak travel. In practice, this means high-value, time-sensitive trips such as ambulance rides would have shorter and more reliable travel times, even in rush hour. Meanwhile, single occupancy riders would be more likely to take the bus, kids travelling to school would more likely to share rides, and people living near train stations would be more likely to use them.

“And road pricing needs to be implemented soon. Waiting ten or even five years is not good enough. We’ve already waited too long, and in Auckland we’re at a crisis point now. A meaningful commitment would be for the Government to implement demand-based road pricing within the next Parliamentary term. That way, the Government could be held accountable for any delay.”

ENDS

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