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Road Pricing and Cordon Tolls on Top of Fuel Tax

Media Release
12 May 2004

AA Rejects Calls for Road Pricing and Cordon Tolls on Top of Fuel Tax

While welcoming today's announcement of the preferred route for the Eastern Corridor in Auckland, the AA has rejected calls from some local government Mayors for road pricing and cordon tolling that would be in addition to petrol taxes.

The AA General Manager of Transport Policy, Stephen Selwood, said his organisation would strongly fight any suggestion that motorists pay again for transport infrastructure.

Mr. Selwood said motorists had paid over $5 billion in fuel tax since the current government was elected in 1999 with only half that amount being invested back in transport infrastructure. "The other $2.5 billion has contributed to the $7.4 billion surplus the government has accumulated," he said.

"The surplus should be invested in nation building throughout New Zealand and an essential part of that investment must be the provision of a safe, efficient road network for motorists, freight transport and public transport such as buses.

"Proponents of Road Pricing and Cordon Tolling have to understand that motorists are already paying 53 cents of every litre of petrol they purchase in fuel tax and that includes an extra levy through the Moving Ahead program. And in April next year another six cents will be added to petrol prices as part of the Government's Investing in Growth package," Mr. Selwood said.

"As an organisation representing over one million New Zealand motorists, we believe that the overall cost of motoring should not increase. Temporary tolls may be an option to allow essential linkages to be built sooner rather than later but to suggest motorists pay extra on top of fuel taxes every time they drive through city centres would be completely unacceptable to motorists," he said.

ends

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