AA not making sense
On Friday, the Automobile Association put out a press release saying the Auckland Council is making a mistake by making road users pay for public transport projects. This was said after the Auckland Council said they want to look into congestion charges and network charges to pay for projects like the CBD Rail Loop and second harbour crossing.
This is not the first way it has been suggested for Auckland Council to pay for these projects. Last month, it was reported that the Auckland Council was looking at a $6 toll of the Auckland Harbour Bridge as a way of paying for the harbour crossing. On the day the NZ Herald reported that, I actually spoke with a councilor about this. He said that there was poor reporting on that, and that it was said if there was no funding from the New Zealand Transport Authority, they could pay for it entirely from a $6 toll on the Harbour Bridge.
In terms of the CBD Rail Loop, there are groups that would have you believe that the Government has outright refused to pay for any part of the CBD Rail Loop. In fact, this is not true. John Key, who has been against the CBD Rail Loop has said that the CBD Rail Loop will ultimately occur, it’s just a case of how much is paid by Central Government and how much is paid by Local Government. This was said in an interview I did with the Prime Minister.
If road users aren’t going to pay for an improvement of Auckland’s transport infrastructure, who is? It could be funded by an increase in rates, but that wouldn’t be fair to those ratepayers who don’t use the roads, and as it is, the Auckland Council has already announced increases in rate charges that were unexpected. In fact, that’s the opposite of what the “Supercity” was promoted as causing, but that’s another yarn. The fact is, these projects are extremely important. A second harbour crossing in Auckland should be one of the Government’s “highways of national significance” if we’re honest, but as they’re not willing to actually do what the country needs of them in terms of transport, it needs to be paid for some other way. With the CBD Rail Loop, the Government is not going to pay for the full cost of it, and that’s to be expected. So where do we make up the difference? These are things that need to be thought of. Both projects are highly important.
Posted on August 7, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged Auckland, Auckland Council, Auckland Harbour Bridge, Auckland harbour crossing, Automobile Association, CBD Rail Loop, congestion charges, John Key, network charges. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.