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Road pricing plan fundamentally flawed

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Road pricing plan fundamentally flawed

The road pricing plan approved by Auckland City Council for more study is fundamentally flawed, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"The road pricing plan currently under consideration is not worth the time Auckland's council has voted to invest in studying it," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"The basics of the plan are plain wrong," he said.

"They are wrong for all the following reasons:
* because its unfair and inequitable; it's a nonsense to charge different toll rates depending on where people live and travel to work in Auckland.
* the options won't include everyone, which is another inequity
* the tolling systems envisaged would be expensive to establish and operate, and generate extremely low returns - it's an empire building scheme
* it won't generate anything like the funding needed to build the public transport networks required
* it would incentivise weird traffic behaviour
* it would kill retail and entertainment in the inner city.

"It's a pity Auckland's councillors didn't listen to the commonsense of Cr Richard Northey - his comments in Herald (13/4/2006) are absolutely right. You can't tell people to leave their cars at home if there are no sensible public transport options to use.

"One thing agreed with Auckland's council is that Aucklanders do need to contribute more to the transport challenge - at present we're backing a regional fuel tax for this.

"Road pricing certainly has a place, but Auckland's transport infrastructure is not ready for it yet.

"Until we have reliable, comprehensive public transport systems up and running, the present road pricing plan would just increase the costs of transport without easing congestion."


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