Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light

Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Aucklanders already pay for roads twice. First through road taxes. Second through spending hours sitting in traffic. Now we are supposed to pay hundreds of dollars more a year just to use the motorway? No way.

“Auckland needs motorways and a 21st century public transport system. And these should be funded through the National Land Transport Fund and paid for by road taxes, just as the Government funds state highways throughout the country.

“A family with several members who each have to drive across town to get to and from work each day could end up paying thousands of dollars a year.

“It is not realistic to think there are alternatives to using the motorway. If you tried to drive the suburban streets from West Auckland to Penrose it will take you all day to get to work.

“The Government should sit down with Auckland Council and negotiate a 30-year transport plan which prioritises rapid transit and costs less than Auckland Council’s wish list, and then fund it through the National Land Transport Fund.

“The question isn’t how much will it cost to close the funding gap, the question is how much will it cost in growth and jobs if the Government sits back and lets the city slowly choke in gridlock? National has been deliberately starving Auckland of funding that is holding back growth and investment and costing jobs and prosperity.”