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AucklandCouncil shouldn't target motorists to fund transport

5 August 2011

Auckland Council should not target motorists to fund its transport projects

The AA says the Auckland Council should not target motorists to fund its transport projects.

The comment was made after the Council called for an investigation of new funding tools such as congestion charging or network charging.

“Motorists have already paid for the roads through fuel tax, and 11% of that fuel tax also goes into subsidising public transport,” says AA spokesperson Simon Lambourne.

“Before there is any discussion about how to find more money to pay for transport, the Council must first tell Aucklanders what exactly it wants to spend the additional money on. That means informing motorists about both their roading and public transport priorities.”

“In a recent survey, AA Members sent a very clear message that central and local government are to be considered the primary and secondary funding sources for any public transport projects. Motorists may be prepared to contribute more than they already do, but they must not be considered the main funding source for public transport,” says Mr Lambourne.

“For a public transport project to receive additional funding from motorists, it will need to significantly reduce congestion, improve travel times, and provide motorists with a viable alternative to using their cars.”

“According to the Ministry of Transport, the $2.4 billion City Centre Rail link would only remove 1,400 cars from the roads in the morning peak – that means the Council wants motorists to pay $1.7 million to remove each car!”

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“The City Centre Rail Link, while a good idea, will not actually benefit the Auckland motorists who are now be targeted to pay for it. That is why central government refused to pay for the City Centre Rail Link, and motorists won’t tolerate being treated as ATM machines for the same reason.”

“If the Council wants a City Centre Rail Link for reasons other than the number of cars it will take off the road, then someone else can pay for it – not the motorists.”

“Aucklanders also sent a very clear message in 2006 that they would not accept road pricing – including congestion and network charging. 75% of AA Members surveyed were opposed to road pricing.”

“We live in tough economic times. When people are already struggling with their finances, the last thing they need is being made to pay to use a motorway. The $2 network charge being proposed could cost a regular motorway user $1000 a year in extra tax.”

“If a congestion charge is introduced to stop people driving into the CBD, motorists will simply decide to shop and work elsewhere. At the end of the day that will hurt the CBD retailers and employers.”

ENDS

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