Transport alternatives needed or congestion charge unfair

The Government needs to urgently ramp-up investment in Auckland's bus and rail network before it slaps a charge on Aucklanders travelling on congested motorways, the Green Party said today.

The Government needs to urgently ramp-up investment in Auckland's bus and rail network before it slaps a charge on Aucklanders travelling on congested motorways, the Green Party said today.

 

Transport Minister Simon Bridges yesterday announced a U-turn on congestion charging in Auckland, saying a charge for road use was possible within the next decade despite having previously said he was "very sceptical" of the idea.

 

“Congestion charges can work, but Aucklanders first need viable public transport alternatives," said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

 

“Without faster, more frequent bus and train services, people living on the outskirts of Auckland and those on low incomes will find it more expensive and harder to get to work in the city.

 

“In places like London and Stockholm where congestion charging has been successful they have much better bus and train services, which means people can choose an alternative to driving and paying.

 

"The Government is clearly starting to wake up to the fact that its strategy of building more expensive motorways is not solving congestion, but the best alternative is to provide people with the option of taking the train or bus, or biking to work.

 

“Right now the Government is talking about building a car-only second harbour crossing at the same time its proposing to charge people more to drive. Aucklanders want alternatives to driving to work, and that means we need to be building rail to the North Shore.

 

“Auckland is currently unable to use the National Transport Fund to invest in rail. When we are in government we will ensure Auckland can invest in whatever transport option provides the quickest, cheapest and cleanest way for people to move about the city,” said Mr Shaw.

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