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Tolls are 'Rogernomics at local body level'

RAM media release 13.5.04

Regionwide tolls are 'Rogernomics at local body level'

"The call by Auckland mayor John Banks and his Manukau counterpart Sir Barry Curtis for regionwide tolls to fund their Eastern Highway scheme threatens us with Rogernomics at a local body level," said Grant Morgan, spokesperson for RAM - Residents Action Movement.

"Toll roads are the most unfair way to fund transport projects because businesses escape all the costs. Business owners and managers write tolls off against taxes, claim back GST and add the remainder onto their prices. This leaves grassroots drivers paying virtually the whole cost of road tolls."

"We're coming up to the 20th anniversary of Rogernomics, which was a central government drive to shift costs from corporations to the grassroots," said Mr Morgan.

"Now we find the right-wing mayors of the region's two biggest cities acting as midwives in the rebirth of Rogernomics at local government level."

"It's wrong to toll drivers right across the whole region for a motorway located in one area. It's even more outrageous when you realise that the Eastern Motorway will make car chaos worse for everyone. For instance, with such a motorway funnelling more cars into central Auckland, gridlock across the Harbour Bridge will worsen, yet North Shore drivers using the bridge would be tolled so they could be stuck for longer in traffic jams."

"It's insanity to promote the Eastern Highway when urban transport studies around the world show that motorways grow cars. Civilised life on our planet faces a dual threat from global warming and oil depletion. Both will be made worse by the mad motorway schemes of the Rogernomics mayors," said Mr Morgan.

"If RAM wins a majority in the ARC election, we will immediately come out against the Eastern Highway. That would kill the project stone-dead."

ENDS

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