Press Release – George Wood
Waitemata Harbour Crossing Needs High Priority, Says Councillor Wood
31 August 2015
While North Shore Ward Councillor George Wood welcomes the Auckland Transport Alignment Project,he has concerns over what impact this new stream of work will have on the development of the proposed Waitemata Harbour tunnel. “The Government through the New Zealand Transport Agency is now working on the resource consenting for the tunnel. I am hopeful that the new Auckland Transport Alignment Project won’t have any impact on the time frame for the tunnel.”
“Let’s hope that the four North Shore MPs, who all sit around the cabinet table, will be mindful of the interests of the people of the North Shore. This is especially so in the case of any form of tolling being implemented.”
“Any imposition of a motorway toll to fund Auckland transport development will be grossly unfair to the people of North Shore and many others living north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge”, says Councillor George Wood. His comments relate to reports that a motorway toll is one of the funding tools being discussed between the Minister of Transport, Hon Simon Bridges and Auckland Council to cover costs of developing the city’s transport needs.
“For most of the people on the Shore, their only access to downtown Auckland is by State Highway One and the Harbour Bridge. Even those who live further north, who have the alternative of the Greenhithe Bridge must then use the north-western motorway.”
“If such a funding tool is necessary, the only fair, practical and economical means is a regional tax on motor fuels. This has the advantage of requiring little if any additional collection cost, compared with the significant costs of installing either toll booths or electronic monitoring. It is a no-brainer,” declared George Wood.
George Wood still has his proposal of a referendum being held right across the Auckland region on any idea of tolling as a live option. The Auckland Council’s governing body agreed that this idea proposed by Cr Wood of a referendum could still be considered in conjunction with the Auckland Transport Alignment Project.