Tolls for new roads

on Agenda yesterday confirmed that National would look to speed up construction of new roads with private-public partnerships and tolls.

The party’s transport spokesman, Maurice Williamson, said yesterday that commuters could face bills of up to $50 a week for tolls of $3 to $5 a trip on new motorways or similar “ of national importance”.

But he believed that most people, if given a choice between tolls or queuing on free roads, would gladly pay.

Also free roads are not free. They are just funded through . I think it is vitally important that users of roads pay for them, and tolls are better at doing that, plus will allow for some roads to happen, which would not have happened otherwise.

He believed an obstacle to public acceptance of tolls had been removed by a new law requiring all money raised from fuel taxes to be paid into the national land transport fund.

“I think New Zealanders will now say, ‘Well okay, if it is going to provide a solution to a problem I face and you are not stealing my petrol tax, well then I’ll go for it’.”

Another policy Labour stole from National!

Transport Minister accused Mr Williamson of not thinking his toll plans through properly.

She said that even if the $365 million Albany-to-Puhoi toll road, to open early next year, had “maximised” use, a $2 toll would still pay only half its cost.

So what? Half is better than none.

But she said the Labour-led Government believed strongly there was a place for .

But I thought they were evil privatisations in drag?

Mr Williamson listed these possible candidates for tolls:

  • Auckland’s next crossing of the Waitemata Harbour (expected to cost at least $4 billion).
  • Auckland’s motorway tunnels through Waterview on the western ring route ($1.9 billion).
  • A 19km motorway extension to Warkworth or beyond ($1 billion-plus).
  • Completion of the Waikato Expressway on State Highway 1 ($1 billion).
  • Kopu Bridge, on the way to Coromandel Peninsula ($32 million).

Don’t forget Transmission Gully!

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