Breaking Traffic Gridlock No Bad Thing
London, Singapore, Stockholm and many other big cities have all successfully introduced congestion charges at peak hour to ease traffic flows in busy city zones and so can Auckland, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.
“We’ve talked and talked about the problem and now there is a workable solution, proven models to follow and a willingness to try it. Let’s get on and finally make a decision and introduce a user pays charge. The aim must be to ease the congestion around the city that costs freight forwarders, exporters and commuters thousands of dollars and thousands of hours in lost productivity each year as they crawl through town during peak hours,” he said. “It’s just not that hard for Auckland to get it right using the international examples that we can learn from despite government and council needing to agree on the fees, exemptions, zoning and operating hours.”
The revenue generated from congestion charges should be used to support roading infrastructure and more public transport, and the future of other levies like road user taxes should be reviewed at the same time, Mr Barnett said.
“Reducing traffic volumes during weekdays at peak times in the central city will not only benefit the liveability of our city but its workability and lift productivity. It will encourage greater use of buses, ferries and trains and more cyclists and pedestrians who will enjoy better air quality from lower exhaust fumes.”