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Williamson on tolls for roads (again)

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, October 21st, 2008 - 12 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

I see Maurice Williamson has again confirmed that we will be paying more for driving on some roads under National:

Williamson: “If it is quite a short distance road of a few kilometres, somewhere in the city-type link, you’d only be talking of $1 or $2. If it’s a very long haul road you may be talking of $3.

As nicely pointed out by No Right Turn

Multiply that by two trips a day, five days a week, and National expects you to pay up to $30 a week in tolls – which is more than 85% of us will get from their tax cuts. What they give with one hand, they claw back with the other – just as they did with user-pays for health in the 90’s.

And it’s not so different to what he said last time he got in trouble on Agenda:

Williamson: “I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t pay 3-5 dollars because they’ve be paying it in their 40 minutes of car running.”
Rawdon Christie: Five bucks twice a day,

Last September Mr Williamson warned that a John Key-led government would not invest any new money in Auckland’s rail system. Ratepayers would be left on their own for any future expansion.
He also confirmed that a  National government will introduce a range of new financing regimes.

I wonder when we get to find out what those are?

12 comments on “Williamson on tolls for roads (again) ”

  1. Dancer, how come we keep posting at exactly the same time? I’m sorry.

  2. Scribe 2


    People will choose if they want to use the toll road. If they want to use a different route, they can. Kind of like what’s about to happen in Rodney, north of Auckland. Pay to use a straight motorway or use the current road.

    Wow, paying to use something. What a novel idea.

  3. bill brown 3

    Yeah, just like, if they can’t afford their current GP they can “go down the road” after all “it’s a market”

  4. Dancer 4

    I don’t personally have a problem with tolls (they can make life much easier as i’ve experienced overseas), but I do believe in the importance of an alternative route. Now this is something that National have criticised Labour for in the past. In fact when the issue came up in August we had another “avoiding” answer from Bill English who said “it was quite likely” that an alternative free route would be available. That’s not the same thing as guaranteeing that the current protections will stay in place…(http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10528851)

  5. Tim Ellis 5

    SH20 is likely to be tolled under a Labour Government, isn’t it?

    Or is the message we get that Labour tolls are good, National tolls are bad?

    I heard Judith Tizard say a few weeks ago at a public meeting that if there were tolls put on SH20, it would be on stretches of roads where there were alternative untolled routes available, and would speed up the building of the roads. That sounds like a brilliant criteria for building tolling a road. It happens to be the same criteria the National Party uses.

    The difference is that Maurice Williamson is open about tolling roads, whereas the Labour Party aren’t.

  6. bill brown 6

    Yeah, I remember when the alternative non-tolled route from Devonport to Freemans Bay was via Kumeu

  7. bill brown 7

    The difference is that Maurice Williamson is open about tolling roads, whereas JK keeps telling him to shut up.

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    Bill brown said:

    Yeah, I remember when the alternative non-tolled route from Devonport to Freemans Bay was via Kumeu

    That was the ONLY route before the bridge Bill.

    The criteria from both Labour and National appears to be the same. No existing roads will be tolled. New roads may be tolled if by doing so speeds up their construction.

    I don’t think it’s useful for Maurice Williamson to speculate on pricing.

  9. Lampie 9

    stuff the tolls

  10. The question really should be what do both parties think of congestion pricing. They have both expressed positive comments about it in the past.

  11. gomango 11

    dancer: I wonder when we get to find out what those are?

    Maybe in a December mini-budget?

    More seriously, how is road tolling any different to partial charging for services that both Labour and National governments have bought in over the last 25 years? Its not free to send my kids to the local state school, its not free to take them to a doctor, there are very few government services that are totally free (especially if you are a net taxpayer). And most people don’t care too much about the lack of “freeness” – ie $250 a year in school donations doesnt worry me. It’s a nominal charge that in no way reflects the full cost of providing a school, teachers and a curriculum. Its also positive that it focuses the school in justifying their service, and engages parents in debate about the quality of the education service provided.

    Why are toll roads different? When did we have the basic inalienable human right to drive on a piece of tarmac? I’d assume a $1, $2 or even $3 charge in no way reflects the true cost of a new road – and as you rightly point out, as long as there is a valid free alternative (ie not as good but generally adequate) who cares?

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