National's Transport Policy
21 May 2004
National’s “absolute commitment” to completing Auckland’s transport corridor network within 10 years “is exactly what business wants to hear and see actioned.”
Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, was commenting on a speech by National Party Leader Dr Don Brash which set out a three-pronged strategy to reduce the time between making the decision to build a major road and starting the bulldozers to one year.
To accelerate completion of Auckland’s core roading network, National’s key actions within in nine months of taking office will be to:
Change the Resource Management Act to enable fast-track referral of roading projects direct to the Environment Court; Change the Land Transport Management Act to encourage private sector participation in funding major roading projects; Create a single standalone Auckland transport agency to manage and control the region’s total transport system.
“National’s promise to divert some of the $650 million of funds raised from road taxes currently going into the consolidated fund back to help faster network completion if and when a money shortage is a problem, is also greatly welcomed,” said Mr Barnett.
The commitment to shift the funding of roading from dependence on rates and road taxes towards greater use of tolls is a call that business has been making to Government for the last five years, “but which has fallen on deaf ears.”
“It is refreshing to hear from a politician who has clearly listened to the concerns of business. We will want to ensure that the sense of urgency and timeline to get these changes in place inside a year are honoured,” said Mr Barnett. “Aucklanders overwhelmingly would agree with Dr Brash’s call ‘to get the job done’.”