Congestion charges for Auckland

Stuff reports:

An agreement between Auckland Council and central government has been struck to end our biggest city’s gridlock woes.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Auckland Mayor Len Brown signed the Auckland Transport Alignment Project report on Thursday.

The report, a joint project between the council, the Ministry of Transport, Auckland Transport, the NZ Transport Agency, the Treasury and the State Services Commission, recommends a strategic approach for transport investment over the next 30 years.

It outlines plans to deal with the extra 700,000 people that Auckland’s population will swell by over that time and a projected increase in freight on Auckland roads of 78 per cent.

The report recommended congestion charges over a rise in property rates to help fund needed infrastructure.

Aucklanders needed to make “different choices about how to travel and at what time of day” to reduce gridlock, Brown said.

“Demand management is crucial in managing this.”

Any revenue raised from congestion charges should go towards improving transport systems, he said.

The report recommended a network of toll systems across Auckland that vary in price depending on time and location.

They are expected to be installed by 2028.

“Applying charges across the whole network also reduces the likelihood of unintended consequences resulting from diverting traffic, as prices can be fine-tuned across the network to support desired outcomes,” the report read.

Congestion charges are the best market solution for funding the transport network. They should indeed vary by time and location.

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