All options for meeting Auckland’s transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.
Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board, which outlines funding options including an increase in rates and fuel taxes and/or road tolls.
“Aucklanders should have the debate about transport funding - but all options should be on the table, including fewer expensive roading projects,” Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.
“We are supportive of Aucklanders having an open debate about funding, but the debate should not be restricted to funding. What gets funded should also be on the table.
“Aucklanders have the option of meeting the city’s transport needs without rate hikes, regional fuel taxes, road tolls or congestion charges.
“The cost of implementing Auckland’s Congestion Free Network by 2030 is estimated at around $10 billion, which is 40 percent less than Auckland’s Integrated Transport Programme proposes to spend on new transport projects over that same time period.
“Motorway tolls and rate rises would not be necessary if both Auckland and central government made the Congestion Free Network the priority - this hasn't been presented as an option.
“Huge patronage growth in public transport means Auckland desperately needs investment in rail and improved bus services now.
“When more people can take buses and trains, and walk and cycle safely, existing roads work better.
“The latest Auckland Transport data show Aucklanders are flocking to public transport.
“Total public transport use in September soared 13.4 percent on September 2013 while rail boardings lifted 21 percent. There were nearly 12 million Auckland rail boardings in the year to September.
“Auckland deserves a balanced transport system. They should have the option to prioritise better train and bus services,” Ms Genter said.