A congestion-busting idea to toll many of Tauranga’s main arterial routes has been labelled “ludicrous” and “unfair” by people who could be forced to pay more to drive to the supermarket.
Others worry it would push the cost of living higher and one business owner says it might prompt him to move.
In one scenario of how a variable road-pricing idea being considered by Tauranga City Council might work, commuting between the CBD and Pāpāmoa in peak hours five days a week could cost more than $2400 a year.
A council commissioner, however, says that example was “illustrative” and the council was only seeking feedback on whether it should further investigate the potential issues and benefits of the “SmartTrip” road-pricing idea.
It comes as Auckland Council considers congestion charging, which Mayor Wayne Brown suggested could involve paying $5 per trip to use some of the city’s busiest motorways in rush hours
Variable road pricing in Tauranga
Tauranga was looking at a variable road-pricing system, with a report presented to its council suggesting a system of access and distance-based charges for using certain roads in and out of the city centre could be a potential solution to traffic congestion.
It would have more than 100 entry and exit points, require up to 100 cameras and would first need a law change to take effect.
Priced roads included State Highway 2 and SH29A, plus local roads such as Turret Rd.