12 October 2006

Roads are for the rich

Aucklanders should oppose tolling every step of the way. Tell Transit we do not want to spend $14 every time we drive between Manukau and Albany. We don’t want fast roads for the rich and slow roads for the poor. It is the government that should be funding roads, not the people of Auckland – they have already paid their taxes.” Auckland City Councillor, Cathy Casey, saying why she opposes Transit NZ’s tolling solution for the funding of State Highway 20
Does Councillor Casey think that toll-free roads benefit the poor? Ok, maybe in Auckland even very poor families have one vehicle of their own - otherwise they'd be unable even to shop for groceries. But it's a mistake to think, that just because they pay nothing for access to almost all roads like rich people, they benefit as much as the well off from lavish provision of roads. They don't. They have fewer vehicles per household, less money to spend to keep them running, and less leisure time for driving. They also suffer disproportionately from noise and air pollution. The big beneficiaries of roading programmes are construction companies and the wealthy.

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