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Road pricing years off, public transport investment needed now

With road pricing still years away, Labour will step up with investment in public transport to ease Auckland’s congestion woes, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Labour believes Auckland should be able to decide for itself how it funds its share of transport investment. For too long, Central Government has dictated to Auckland and blocked it from making its own decisions.

“For years, National has dragged the chain on road pricing, just as they did on the City Rail Link and continue to do on light rail. National has to stop holding back Auckland’s growth and prosperity. Doing a study now won’t address the $7 billion funding gap in Auckland’s 30 year transport plan. As usual National is just kicking the can down the road.

“Road pricing, when it comes in, will help manage demand and reduce congestion at peak hours, but it is years away, and you can’t charge hard-pressed Auckland commuters to use the motorways, unless there are much better public transport alternatives.

“We need to start investing in a modern rapid transit system that will sit alongside Auckland’s motorways and roads, and give Aucklanders genuine alternatives once road pricing comes in.

“It is time for a fresh approach. Labour is committed to a rapid roll out of congestion-busting rapid transit projects, beginning with light rail from the CBD to Mt Roskill, as the start of a broader light rail network,” says Phil Twyford.