Tolls and higher fuel tax to pay for roads

22:24, May 16 2013

The average driver faces paying $135 extra over the next three years, with legislation to increase petrol tax being rushed through Parliament.

Road tolls could also be introduced on a case-by-case basis as the Government works to push ahead with its Roads of National Significance programme.

In December, Finance Minister Bill English announced excise on petrol would increase by 9 cents a litre by July 2015.

The bill to increase the tax was introduced to Parliament yesterday alongside a raft of Budget legislation which will be debated under urgency.

It would raise the excise on petrol by 3c a litre in each of the next three Julys bringing the total tax take to 59.5c a litre by mid-2015.

Ministry of Transport senior adviser Alastair Farr estimated the average cost per driver at $45 a year.

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"The ministry considers that the level of increase per user is justified, in terms of the economic benefits to New Zealand that will result from construction of the Roads of National Significance on schedule," he said in the bill's regulatory impact statement.

Tolls could also be introduced on a case-by-case basis.

"The likely revenue generated might service any debt taken on to create the roads, but would likely be insufficient to support the National Land Transport Fund against other pressures," he said.

ROADING PRIORITIES

The existing Roads of National Significance are:

Puhoi to Wellsford - SH1

Completing the Western Ring Route - SH16 and SH20

Victoria Park Tunnel, Auckland - SH1

Waikato Expressway - SH1

Tauranga Eastern Link - SH2

Wellington Northern Corridor - SH1

Christchurch Motorways

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