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NZBCSD welcomes transport investment

NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development welcomes transport investment

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development welcomes today’s transport package for Auckland’s roads.

“The $1.62 billion funding package over ten years is certainly necessary as congestion and delays in Auckland are costing a billion dollars per annum and affect business and individuals alike.” said Dick Hubbard on behalf of the NZBCSD.

“A single entity will improve decision making in the region. We believe such an authority should be able to charge for road use and have the power to invest in physical transport infrastructure.

“We welcome the commitment to toll charges for new roads and establishing a framework for considering road pricing, understanding that this will be linked to investment in alternative forms of transport.

“There are things that can be done immediately to reduce the road gridlock such as the introduction of hot lanes. These are lanes on the existing motorway or arterial routes which are reserved for high occupancy vehicles that can use the lane for free and other vehicles that pay a toll to use the road.

“Where there is a political will, there is a way as was proven in London. Since being introduced in central London this year, congestion pricing has led to a 20% reduction within the target zone and a doubling of average speeds.

“The NZBCSD supports a pricing system which addresses the major congestion issues faced by all drivers on Auckland’s motorways and arterial routes rather than the ‘cordon charge’ approach adopted in cities like London. However this can only be introduced in conjunction with efficient and reliable public services which provide current road users with viable alternatives. We look forward to working closely with the ARTA to develop a speedy solution.

“Politicians and businesses have been talking for years about the problem, we are delighted that there is at last momentum towards change and a recognition that a successful Auckland is pivotal to the economic success off New Zealand.”

The NZBCSD recently published its study of how economic incentives provide affordable solutions at minimal cost to a wide range of problems including transport. The report can be downloaded from http://www.nzbcsd.org.nz/economicincentives

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